In 2016, fertility continued to drop in Québec

Québec, April 19, 2017. – In 2016, the total fertility rate was 1.59 children per woman in Québec. It had been dropping slightly every year from the high of 1.73 children per woman recorded in 2008 and 2009. The total fertility rate had remained above 1.6 children per woman from 2006 to 2015. Although on a downward trend, fertility in Québec had not been as low as it had been in the early 2000s or mid-1980s, both periods when the total fertility rate dipped below 1.5 children per woman. These findings were drawn from Coup d’œil sociodémographique, No. 54, published today by the Institut de la statistique du Québec. This bulletin was released along with provisional data on births and fertility in Québec for 2016.

Analyzing the data reveals that the decline of the total fertility rate is linked to declining fertility rates among women under 30. Fertility had been observed to increase for women over 30 for several years, but this trend appeared to gradually attain relative stability. In 2016, the average age at maternity was 30.6 years, regardless of the birth order of the child. The average age of the mother at the birth of her first child was 29.0 years, fully 4 years older than in 1975.

There were 86,400 births in Québec in 2016, compared to 86,800 in 2015 and 87,700 in 2014. The number of births had been in decline for the past few years, following a period of relative stability from 2009 to 2013, fluctuating between 88,000 and 89,000. The number of births had experienced rapid growth from 2005 to 2008.

In general, fertility in Québec’s regions had evolved similarly to that for Québec as a whole, that is, the total fertility rate rose during the 2000s, then dropped in recent years. In 2016, fertility was higher in Nord-du-Québec (2.51 children per woman), but remained fairly low in Montréal (1.43 children per woman).


The Institut de la statistique du Québec produces, analyzes and disseminates official, objective and quality statistical information on various aspects of Québec society. It is responsible for carrying out all statistical surveys of general interest. The relevance of its work makes it a strategic ally for decision makers and all those wishing to learn more about Québec.

– 30 –