Issue 16-203: Births and Fertility

October 26, 2016

There were 43,779 live births in British Columbia in 2013, down 0.5% from the number recorded in 2012. Nationally, births registered totalled 380,323, a decrease of 0.4% over the previous year.

B.C. mothers aged 30 to 34 accounted for the largest share (35.7%) of all births in the province in 2013, while births to older mothers (aged 45 to 49) made up the smallest portion (0.2%). Just over two percent of babies were born to teenage mothers (aged 15 to 19).

In B.C., the average age of women who gave birth in 2013 was 30.7 years, the highest in the country, followed closely by Ontario (30.5). The national average was 29.9 years. Mothers in Nunavut were the youngest in the nation, with an average age of 24.7 years.

On average, in 2013, B.C. mothers were older when giving birth compared with two decades earlier. In 1993, the average age of a mother giving birth was 28.3 years, notably lower than the average in 2013 (30.7).

In 2013, the fertility rate (number of live births per 1,000 females in a specific age group) of Canadian women aged 30 to 34 surpassed that of women aged 25 to 29 for the 11th straight year. Among the provinces, British Columbia had the highest fertility rate for women aged 40 to 44.

B.C.’s total fertility rate (i.e., the average number of children that women aged 15 to 49 can be expected to have in their lifetime) was 1.41 in 2013, down slightly (-1.6%) from 1.43 in 2012. This was the lowest fertility rate in the country, but Newfoundland and Labrador (1.43), Nova Scotia (1.46), Ontario (1.51), Yukon (1.54) and New Brunswick (1.57) also recorded rates below the national average of 1.59. Conversely, Nunavut (3.04), Saskatchewan (1.94) and Manitoba (1.91) had the highest rates.

Data Source: Statistics Canada