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Indicators of Well-being in Canada


Family Life - Age of Mother at Childbirth

Relevance

The birth of a child brings a lot of changes to a family. It may mean adding a child to an adult-only family, introducing a brother or sister to an only child, or becoming a family with more children than adults.

The timing of this event is often a personal choice, which may be heavily influenced by social and economic factors. For instance, people may delay having children because of education and career decisions. However, delay in having children, may add health risks for both mother and child.[1] On the other hand, there may be less family stability and poorer financial security when people have children at a young age.

The age of mother at childbirth indicator measures the average age of mothers who gave birth in a given year.

Summary

  • National Picture — In 2010, the average age of mothers at the birth of their children was 29.6 years, which was an increase over the previous three decades.  
  • Births to Mothers over 30 — Up to 51.2% of all mothers who gave birth in 2010 were 30 years of age or older.
  • Births to Teens — Births to teenage mothers decreased constantly over the last three decades from about 30 births per 1,000 teenage women in 1974 to 11.4 in 2010. 
  • Regions — In 2010, Nunavut had an average age of mother at birth significantly younger (24.6 years) than the national average, and a rate of births to teens almost eight times the Canadian average. In contrast, Ontario and British Columbia had the highest average age of mothers, and the highest percentage of births to mothers 30 and over.

National Picture

The average age of mothers who gave birth in 2010 was 29.6 years, which is similar to the average age at the end of the 2nd World War. In the three decades that followed the war, the average age of mothers at childbirth decreased consistently to reach a low of 26.7 years in 1975, and then, began to climb back. Between 1975 and 2010, the average age of mothers at childbirth increased by 2.8 years.


This Chart contains data for Average age of mother at childbirth, Canada, 1944-2010. Information is available in table below 2010 = 29.6 2009 = 29.4 2008 = 29.3 2007 = 29.3 2006 = 29.3 2005 = 29.2 2004 = 29.2 2003 = 29.1 2002 = 29 2001 = 28.9 2000 = 28.8 1999 = 28.7 1998 = 28.6 1997 = 28.5 1996 = 28.4 1995 = 28.2 1994 = 28.1 1993 = 28 1992 = 27.9 1991 = 27.7 1990 = 27.79 1989 = 27.73 1988 = 27.71 1987 = 27.64 1986 = 27.54 1985 = 27.45 1984 = 27.35 1983 = 27.22 1982 = 27.11 1981 = 27.07 1980 = 26.96 1979 = 26.93 1978 = 26.83 1977 = 26.77 1976 = 26.74 1975 = 26.71 1974 = 26.79 1973 = 26.83 1972 = 26.96 1971 = 27.06 1970 = 27.15 1969 = 27.26 1968 = 27.3 1967 = 27.42 1966 = 27.62 1965 = 27.76 1964 = 27.8 1963 = 27.75 1962 = 27.74 1961 = 27.77 1960 = 27.81 1959 = 27.87 1958 = 27.94 1957 = 28.01 1956 = 28.11 1955 = 28.22 1954 = 28.26 1953 = 28.3 1952 = 28.35 1951 = 28.46 1950 = 28.56 1949 = 28.61 1948 = 28.67 1947 = 28.72 1946 = 29.02 1945 = 29.33 1944 = 29.31 (years) Average age of mother at childbirth, Canada, 1944-2010

Source: For 1944 to 1990: data received from Demography Division at Statistics Canada (not published), and for 1991 to 2010: Statistics Canada. Table 102-4504 - Mean age of mother at time of delivery (live births), Canada, provinces and territories, annual (years), (CANSIM databse).


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Average age of mother at childbirth, Canada, 1944-2010 (years)
1944194519461947194819491950195119521953195419551956195719581959196019611962196319641965196619671968196919701971197219731974197519761977197819791980198119821983198419851986198719881989199019911992199319941995199619971998199920002001200220032004200520062007200820092010
29.3129.3329.0228.7228.6728.6128.5628.4628.3528.328.2628.2228.1128.0127.9427.8727.8127.7727.7427.7527.827.7627.6227.4227.327.2627.1527.0626.9626.8326.7926.7126.7426.7726.8326.9326.9627.0727.1127.2227.3527.4527.5427.6427.7127.7327.7927.727.92828.128.228.428.528.628.728.828.92929.129.229.229.329.329.329.429.6

Births to Mothers Over 30

Of the mothers who gave birth in 2010, 51.2% were 30 years of age or over, which is about two and a half times the percentage of 1974.


This Chart contains data for Births to mothers over 30 years old, Canada, 1974-2010. Information is available in table below 2010 = 51.2 2009 = 50 2008 = 49.58 2007 = 49.41 2006 = 49.15 2005 = 48.86 2004 = 48.54 2003 = 47.93 2002 = 47.41 2001 = 46.89 2000 = 45.65 1999 = 45.1 1998 = 44.41 1997 = 44.41 1996 = 43.67 1995 = 42.53 1994 = 40.92 1993 = 39.6 1992 = 37.85 1991 = 36.005 1990 = 34.583 1989 = 33.157 1988 = 31.921 1987 = 30.558 1986 = 29.024 1985 = 27.758 1984 = 26.462 1983 = 25.069 1982 = 24.072 1981 = 23.422 1980 = 22.617 1979 = 22.159 1978 = 21.335 1977 = 20.452 1976 = 19.384 1975 = 19.021 1974 = 19.538 (percent of all births) Births to mothers over 30 years old, Canada, 1974-2010

Source: ESDC calculations based on Statistics Canada. For 1974 to 1990: Statistics Canada. Table 106-9002 - Pregnancy outcomes, by age group, Canada, provinces and territories, annual, (CANSIM database); and for 1991 to 2010: Statistics Canada. Table 102-4503 - Live births, by age of mother, Canada, provinces and territories, annual, (CANSIM database).


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Births to mothers over 30 years old, Canada, 1974-2010 (percent of all births)
1974197519761977197819791980198119821983198419851986198719881989199019911992199319941995199619971998199920002001200220032004200520062007200820092010
19.53819.02119.38420.45221.33522.15922.61723.42224.07225.06926.46227.75829.02430.55831.92133.15734.58336.00537.8539.640.9242.5343.6744.4144.4145.145.6546.8947.4147.9348.5448.8649.1549.4149.585051.2

Births to Teens

The rate of births to teens (females 14 to 19 years of age) declined from 29.9 per 1,000 female teens in 1974 to 11.4 in 2010.


This Chart contains data for Births to teenage mothers, Canada, 1974-2010. Information is available in table below 2010 = 11.4 2009 = 12 2008 = 12 2007 = 11.8 2006 = 11.3 2005 = 11 2004 = 11.3 2003 = 12.1 2002 = 12.6 2001 = 13.5 2000 = 14.3 1999 = 15.7 1998 = 16.6 1997 = 16.9 1996 = 18.6 1995 = 20.4 1994 = 21 1993 = 21 1992 = 21.6 1991 = 21.8 1990 = 21.6 1989 = 21 1988 = 19.8 1987 = 19.6 1986 = 19.8 1985 = 20 1984 = 20.7 1983 = 21.5 1982 = 23 1981 = 22.9 1980 = 23.6 1979 = 23.8 1978 = 25.3 1977 = 27.1 1976 = 28.5 1975 = 29.8 1974 = 29.9 (per 1,000 female teens) Births to teenage mothers, Canada, 1974-2010

Note: The rate of births for teenage mothers is calculated using the population of females aged 14 to 19 years.

Source: ESDC calculations based on Statistics Canada. For 1974 to 1990: Statistics Canada. Table 106-9002 - Pregnancy outcomes, by age group, Canada, provinces and territories, annual, CANSIM (database); and for 1991 to 2010: Statistics Canada. Table 102-4503 - Live births, by age of mother, Canada, provinces and territories, annual, (CANSIM database); and Statistics Canada. Table 051-0001 - Estimates of population, by age group and sex for July 1, Canada, provinces and territories, annual (persons unless otherwise noted), (CANSIM database).


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Births to teenage mothers, Canada, 1974-2010 (per 1,000 female teens)
1974197519761977197819791980198119821983198419851986198719881989199019911992199319941995199619971998199920002001200220032004200520062007200820092010
29.929.828.527.125.323.823.622.92321.520.72019.819.619.82121.621.821.6212120.418.616.916.615.714.313.512.612.111.31111.311.8121211.4

Regions

Ontario and British Columbia had the highest average age of mothers who gave birth in 2010 at 30.2 years. Nunavut (24.6 years) had the lowest average age. The national average was 29.6.


This Chart contains data for Average age of mother at childbirth, by region, 2010. Information is available in table below NU = 24.6 NT = 27.8 YT = 29.1 BC = 30.2 AB = 29.1 SK = 27.5 MB = 28.1 ON = 30.2 QC = 29.5 NB = 27.9 NS = 28.7 PE = 28.7 NL = 28.5 CAN = 29.6 (years) Average age of mother at childbirth, by region, 2010

Note: The region is the place of residence of the mother at the time of the birth.

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 102-4504 - Mean age of mother at time of delivery (live births), Canada, provinces and territories, annual (years), CANSIM (database).


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Average age of mother at childbirth, by region, 2010 (years)
CANNLPENSNBQCONMBSKABBCYTNTNU
29.628.528.728.727.929.530.228.127.529.130.229.127.824.6

In 2010, the highest percentages of mothers over the age of 30 at the time of the birth of their child were in Ontario (56.2%) and British Columbia (55.7%). On the other hand, Nunavut (19.4%) had the lowest percentage.


This Chart contains data for Births to mothers over 30 years old, by region, 2010. Information is available in table below NU = 19.4 NT = 41.3 YT = 47.4 BC = 55.7 AB = 46.9 SK = 36.1 MB = 41.3 ON = 56.2 QC = 50.0 NB = 39.0 NS = 46.0 PE = 46.2 NL = 44.4 CAN = 51.2 (percent of all births) Births to mothers over 30 years old, by region, 2010

Note: The region is the place of residence of the mother at the time of the birth.

Source: ESDC calculations based on Statistics Canada. Table 102-4503 -Live births, by age of mother, Canada, provinces and territories, annual, CANSIM (database).


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Births to mothers over 30 years old, by region, 2010 (percent of all births)
CANNLPENSNBQCONMBSKABBCYTNTNU
51.244.446.246.039.050.056.241.336.146.955.747.441.319.4

In 2010, the national average rate of teens who gave birth was 11.4 per 1,000 female teens. Nunavut had, by far, the highest rate at almost eight times the national average (87.2 births per 1,000 teen girls). Saskatchewan (29.0), Manitoba (24.9) and Northwest Territories (31.6), also had rates that were more than double the Canadian average. Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia were the only regions with rates below the national average.

This Chart contains data for Births to teenage mothers, by region, 2010. Information is available in table below NU = 87.2 NT = 31.6 YT = 16.0 BC = 8.1 AB = 15.4 SK = 29.0 MB = 24.9 ON = 8.9 QC = 8.2 NB = 19.6 NS = 15.2 PE = 12.6 NL = 18.4 CAN = 11.4 (per 1,000 female teens) Births to teenage mothers, by region, 2010

Note: The region is the place of residence of the mother at the time of the birth. The rate of births for teenage mothers is calculated using the population of females aged 14 to 19 years.

Source: ESDC calculations based on Statistics Canada. Table 102-4503 - Live births, by age of mother, Canada, provinces and territories, annual, CANSIM (database); and Statistics Canada. Table 051-0001 - Estimates of population, by age group and sex for July 1, Canada, provinces and territories, annual (persons unless otherwise noted), CANSIM (database).


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Births to teenage mothers, by region, 2010 (per 1,000 female teens)
CANNLPENSNBQCONMBSKABBCYTNTNU
11.418.412.615.219.68.28.924.929.015.48.116.031.687.2

Footnotes

  1. Health Canada. Perinatal Health Indicators for Canada. Ottawa, Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada 2000 (Cat.No. H49-135/2000E).

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Date Modified:
2014-10-23