Newborn COVID-19 pandemic change plans for Canadians: StatCan

TORONTO – Many Canadians are delaying their birth plans or planning to have fewer children due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new analysis from Statistics Canada.

Using data from the first series of the Canadian Social Survey – COVID-19 and Health (CSS-CW), StatCan analyzes whether Canadians aged 15 to 49 are making changes to their fertility plans pandemic or not, including changes in the timing of childbearing, effects on desired number of children and, to some extent, a number of sociological features more or less likely to modulate their birth plan.

The survey results, released in a report Wednesday, show that nearly a quarter (24%) of Canadians aged 15 to 49 in 2021 have changed their fertility plans because of the COVID-19 pandemic- 19.

Overall, 19% of 15- to 49-year-olds want to have fewer children than previously planned or have children later than previously planned because of the pandemic.

However, 4% of those surveyed said they wanted to have more children than previously planned or had children earlier than planned.

“The exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic may cause some individuals to delay or abandon their plans to have children due to health concerns, or due to the side effects of the pandemic such as loss of jobs, income, etc. decline, financial uncertainty or the researchers write. “On the other hand, for some, the pandemic may lead to renewed concerns about conceiving a child due to more time at home and a desire for a new, richer experience.”

The report describes Canada as a “low fertility country” with a birth rate falling steadily since 2008. Since the pandemic began, the trend has been accelerating – Canada’s fertility rate has fallen from 1 .47 children/person brought children in 2019 to a record low of 1.40. child to child carrier ratio in 2020.

In 2020, Canada also has the lowest number of births and the largest decrease in births year-over-year at -3.6%, since 2006.

The survey found that the most common change to fertility plans was to delay having children, a finding the study said was “particularly significant” because Canada is a country that gives birth later in life. The average childbearing at the time of childbirth is about 31 years old. old in 2020.

The survey also found that Canadians who had not had children were twice as likely to want to have children later or to have fewer children than those who were parents.


The CSS-CW found that individuals belonging to groups considered a visible minority were more likely to say they would like to have fewer or later children, at 25% of respondents compared to Those not in those groups were 17%.

“This disparity may partly reflect the fact that visible minorities have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, whether measured,” the researchers write. measured through unemployment, financial hardship or death rates from COVID-19.”

The survey noted that immigration status and LGBTQ2S+ status had no significant effect on the likelihood of someone changing their fertility plans, but did note regional trends comparing Atlantic provinces with Ontario and Quebec.

16% of those living in the east coast provinces and 13% of those living in Quebec said they would like to have fewer children or be born later, compared with 22% in Ontario. This may be related to youth employment rates, affordability and availability of housing and low-cost childcare services that are unique to Quebec, the survey suggested.

It remains to be seen whether Canada’s total birth rate will return to pre-pandemic levels in the coming years or continue with the downward trend seen over the years, the researchers write.


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