Québec, June 7, 2016 – Natural increase corresponds to the difference between the number of births and the number of deaths. When the number of deaths exceeds the number of births, the natural increase is said to be negative. While usually intermittent at first, this phenomenon becomes more regular over time. Among the 104 Québec RCMs, half registered a greater number of deaths than births at least once in the eleven years from 2005 to 2015. Negative natural increase has been observed for one to five years in 20 RCMs, six to ten years in 18 RCMs and every year of the period studied in 13 RCMs. These findings are taken from an article published today by the Institut de la statistique du Québec in the bulletin Données sociodémographiques en bref.
An analysis reveals that negative natural increase occurs more frequently in RCMs with, proportionately, a higher number of elderly, fewer women of childbearing age or low fertility. In addition, this situation tends to occur in certain areas of Québec, mainly those away from large urban centres.
When negative natural increase persists, the RCM population often drops, but migratory increase (comprising internal, interprovincial and international migration), if sufficient, might offset this phenomenon.
Some countries, notably Germany, Italy and Japan, have been experiencing negative natural increase for several years already. This phenomenon also occurs, at a subnational level, in many other countries. If this trend continues, Québec will register more deaths than births by the 2030s. Migratory increase, however, should allow the population of Québec to continue to grow.
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