Québec, April 27, 2016 – Fertility continued a downward trend in Québec. According to preliminary data for 2015, the total fertility rate stood at 1.60 children per woman, down for the sixth consecutive year. This decline follows a period of growth that led to a peak rate of 1.73 children per woman in 2008 and 2009. Despite the recent drop, the fertility rate did not fall to such low levels as were observed in the early 2000s or in the mid-1980s, two periods when fertility rates reached record lows of less than 1.5 children per woman. This information comes from the bulletin Coup d’œil sociodémographique, No. 47, published today by the Institut de la statistique du Québec.
Over the past few years, fertility rates declined among women under 30, remained relatively stable among those aged 30 to 34, and increased among women over the age of 35. These changes have led to an increase in the average age at maternity, which reached 30.5 years in 2015. The average age at the birth of a first child also increased to 29.0 years.
There were 86,800 births in Québec in 2015, a decline of about 1% compared with 2014. The number of births depends on two factors: fertility levels and the number of women of child-bearing age. The drop in fertility recorded in recent years was partially offset by slight growth in the number of women in the most fertile age groups.
In 2015, the total fertility rate hovered between 1.5 children per woman in Montréal and slightly over 1.8 children per woman in Chaudière-Appalaches and Abitibi-Témiscamingue. It stood at 2.3 children per woman in the Nord-du-Québec.
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