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Canadian birthrate up but still low

Sept. 22, 2009 at 12:02 PM

OTTAWA, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- Canada's birthrate rose 3.7 percent to 367,864 babies in 2007, although the increase isn't enough to sustain the population, Statistics Canada said Tuesday.

Figures show the average number of children per woman increased from 1.59 in 2006 to 1.66 in 2007.

"While this was the highest total fertility rate since 1992, it remained well below replacement level of 2.1 children per woman," or the rate required to keep the population stable in the absence of immigrants, StatsCan said.

Women age 30 and over were responsible for 56 percent of the increase in births, for a total of 115,415.

"The fertility rates of women ... 30 and over increased in the previous 10 years, while rates of younger women decreased," the report said.

The province of Alberta accounted for almost 30 percent of the total national increase in births. Ontario was second with a 21 percent increase, Quebec rose 18 percent and British Columbia 14 percent.

Newfoundland and Labrador had the lowest fertility rate of 1.46 babies per woman, the report said.

Overall, Canada's population rose from 32,987,532 in 2006 to 33,122,819 in 2007 and as of Tuesday had reached an estimated 33,787,451.

"The increased pace in population growth was due mainly to a rise in the number of non-permanent residents in most of the provinces and territories," StatsCan said.

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