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How has the living environment of babies changed over the past 20 years?

The families of babies born in Québec in the early 2020s seem to be in a better economic situation than the families of babies born in the late 1990s. At the age of about 5 months, babies born in 2020–2021 were less likely than babies born in 1997–1998 to be living in low-income households (21% vs. 26%) and more likely to be living in homeowner households (67% vs. 59%). The proportion of babies whose mother was working when their child was about 5 months of age has decreased significantly, from 17% in 1998 to 4.7% in 2021–2022. This decline is partly due to the implementation of the Québec Parental Insurance Plan.

These are some of the findings from Le milieu de vie des bébés, the first report based on the longitudinal study Growing Up in Québec released by the Institut de la statistique du Québec (ISQ). This large-scale study is following more than 4,000 children born in 2020–2021 until they reach adulthood. Its objective is to better understand what can influence the development and well-being of Québec children. A first edition of the study was conducted among children born in 1997–1998, which means it is now possible to compare the reality of two cohorts of children born approximately 25 years apart.

Read the highlights (in French only)

Read the full report (PDF in French only)

Learn more about QLSCD 1 (website of the first edition of the study)

Learn more about Growing Up in Québec