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Low fertility in Canada: The Nordic model in Quebec and the U.S. model in Alberta

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Canadian Studies in Population, Vol. 37(3-4), 411-443.
Beaujot, Roderic & Wang, Juyan
Publication Date: 
25 Apr 2011


Among the factors that are responsible for low fertility, the risks experienced by young people are particularly relevant. In that context, it is noteworthy that fertility is rising most in Alberta and Quebec, that is in provinces where young families have had the security of either good job opportunities or supportive social policy. The fertility trend in Canada has seen a low point of 1.51 in 2002, rising to a total fertility rate of 1.66 in 2007. The trends and differences are placed in the context of family and work questions, including the division of paid and unpaid work by
gender. By marital status, family structure and work orientation, fertility is highest for women and men who are married, with no step children and intermediate work orientation. We summarize the changing policy context, proposing that social policy has become more supportive of families with young children, especially in Quebec but also in the rest of Canada.