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    Number of births in Québec in 2021: back to 2019 level

    Québec, June 15, 2022. – In 2021, there were an estimated 84,900 births in Québec. This represents an increase of almost 4% from 2020 (81,850) and a return to the level observed in 2019 (84,309). The start of the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have resulted in a decrease in conceptions, as shown by a trough in births nine months later, in the lasts few months of 2020 and early 2021. However, the negative effect of the health crisis appears to have been of short duration, as a catch-up in births was observed as of March 2021 (nine months after the end of the first wave).

    These findings come from the bulletin Les naissances au Québec et dans les régions published today by the Institut de la statistique du Québec. This bulletin was released along with preliminary data on births and fertility in Québec in 2021.

    Average number of births per day by month, Québec, January 2017 to March 2022

    Nombre moyen de naissances par jour selon le mois, Québec, janvier 2017 à mars 2022

    Note: Data for 2020 to 2022 are preliminary.
    Source: Institut de la statistique du Québec.

    Fertility back to where it was before the 2020 decline

    The total fertility rate was 1.58 children per woman in 2021. After dropping to 1.52 in 2020, it has returned to a level similar to 2018 and 2019. The fertility rate has been on a downward trend since 2009 (1.73).

    In 2021, fertility increased among women aged 25 to 44, which may reflect a catching-up after the disruption caused by the first few months of the pandemic. However, among younger women, fertility rates continued to decrease to the lowest levels ever recorded.

    Fertility up in the vast majority of regions in 2021

    Fertility was up in almost all regions in 2021, often following a decline in 2020. Montréal is the only region where the decrease in fertility in 2020 was not followed by an increase in 2021. Montréal continues to have the lowest fertility rate (1.3 children per woman), while Nord-du-Québec still has the highest (2.7 children per woman).

    Total fertility rate, Québec administrative regions, 2019-2021

    Indice synthétique de fécondité, régions administratives du Québec, 2019-2021

    1. According to the new administrative region boundaries that came into effect on July 28, 2021. On that date, the La Haute-Yamaska and Brome-Missisquoi RCMs changed their administrative region from Montérégie to Estrie. Data on Estrie and Montérégie have been revised to reflect this change and ensure comparability over time.
    Note: Data for 2020 and 2021 are preliminary.
    Source: Institut de la statistique du Québec.


    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.

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