COVID-19 contributed to lowest number of births in Canada since 2006

The novel coronavirus has led not only to the deaths of thousands of Canadians.

The pandemic also contributed to the decline of live births in the country in 2020.

A government report Tuesday (September 28) notes that Canada saw the lowest number of babies born in the first year of COVID-19 in almost 15 years.

Excluding Yukon, there were 358,604 live births in the country in 2020.

The number is 13,434 fewer than in 2019, when 372,038 babies were born.

In the report, Statistics Canada noted that 2020 had the “greatest year-over-year decrease” of 3.6 percent since 2006.

Last year also had the “lowest number of births in any year since 2006”.

“There are various factors that may have played a role in this decline,” Statistics Canada noted.

“For example, with the onset of the pandemic, decreased international migration because of travel restrictions may have led to fewer births to newcomer parents,” the agency explained.

“In addition, other social and economic factors from the COVID-19 pandemic (school and daycare closures, job losses, and financial uncertainty) may have led some families to delay having children, which could reduce the number of births later in the year,” Statistics Canada reported.

Also, the agency noted a “similar decline in births” from 2019 to 2020 in many other countries.

“For example, the United States reported a 4.0% decrease in births, while a 3.9% decrease was reported for England and Wales. France saw a 2.0% decrease in births from 2019 to 2020,” Statistics Canada reported.

The agency also observed that the number of live births in Canada has been on the decline since 2016.

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