The Canadian fertility rate has hit its lowest level since Statistics Canada began collecting data more than a century ago.
The agency released its most recent numbers Wednesday, showing the birth rate fell to 1.33 children per woman in 2022.
It dropped from 1.43 the previous year and continues a “downward trend [that] began in 2009.”
This is a national trajectory with birth rates reaching record lows in 10 out of the 13 provinces and territories.
While birth rates have been steadily declining for more than a decade in Canada, the downward trend sped up “at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to Statistics Canada.
“Canada seems to be moving into this club of nations with birth rates that could be characterized as ‘ultra-low,’” said Don Kerr, a demographics professor at King’s College at Western University in London, Ont., during an interview with Global News earlier this month.
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Every G7 country experienced a drop in fertility rates between 2021 and 2021, except for the United States.
Even France, which seemed to be an outlier in the West with higher-than-average birth rates, is experiencing a similar challenge.
Earlier this month, French President Emmanuel Macron promised to increase parental leave pay to encourage the French to have more children, after birth rates plummeted to their lowest point since the end of the Second World War.
— with files from Reuters
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