• Statistics
  • The Institut
  • Surveys
    All press releases

    Births declined in Québec in 2020, but increased gradually in the first months of 2021

    Notice of release

    Québec, June 2, 2021. – The Institut de la statistique du Québec estimates that there were 81,850 births in Québec in 2020. This is a decrease of almost 3% from 2019 (84,300). Monthly data show that from January to July 2020, the average number of births per day was relatively similar to that in previous years. However, from August to December, this number declined significantly compared to 2019 (between -5% and -8% depending on the month).

    Average number of births per day by month, Québec, January 2016 to March 2021

    Average number of births per day by month, Québec, January 2016 to March 2021

     

    Note: Provisional data for 2020 and 2021.

    Source: Institut de la statistique du Québec.

    Note that the vast majority of conceptions related to 2020 births occurred between April 2019 and March 2020, before lockdown measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic were implemented in Québec. Nevertheless, it is possible that border restrictions may have had a slight downward impact on births in 2020 by reducing the number of newcomer women of childbearing age.

    Overall, in 2020, the decline in the number of births was more significant:

    • among mothers under the age of 25 (-6.1%);
    • for second-order births (-5.8%);
    • among married parents (-4.8%); and
    • among foreign-born mothers (-4.7%).

    At the regional level, the largest decline in births in 2020 was in the Montréal area, with a decrease of almost 7%. The number of births also declined by approximately 5% in the Côte-Nord, Bas-Saint-Laurent, Laval, and Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean regions.

    Change in the number of births according to selected characteristics, Québec, 2019 to 2020

    Change in the number of births according to selected characteristics, Québec, 2019 to 2020

    Note: Provisional data for 2020.

    Source: Institut de la statistique du Québec.

    The first months of 2021

    In January 2021, fewer daily births were recorded than in previous years. There were 205 births per day on average, down 7% from the 221 daily births in January 2020. In February, however, an increase brought the number of daily births back to the level of previous years. The preliminary estimate for March—nearly 230 daily births—is 3% higher than the number for March 2020. The majority of births from January to March 2021 correspond to conceptions that occurred between April and June 2020.

    Methodological note

    Birth data for 2020 and 2021 are preliminary.

    Using the number of daily births makes it easier to compare months that do not have the same number of days. This is particularly useful for the month of February, as 2020 was a leap year.

    Useful links

    Birth data for April 2021 will be available in early July.

    To be kept informed of the next releases on births, subscribe to e-mail alerts on the Institut de la statistique du Québec’s website.


    The Institut de la statistique du Québec produces, analyzes and disseminates official, objective and quality statistical information on various aspects of Québec society. It is responsible for conducting all statistical surveys of general interest. The relevance of its work makes it a strategic ally for decision makers and all those wishing to learn more about Québec.

    Media relations
    Information and Documentation Centre

    Phone: 418-691-2401
    or 1-800-463-4090 (toll-free in Canada and the United States)
    E-mail: cid@stat.gouv.qc.ca