Recent Trends in Canadian Fertility*

Authors


  • *Revision of a paper presented at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America, Boston, April 1968. We wish to express our thanks to Dr W. Zayachkowski of the Vital Statistics Section of the dbs, who has been most diligent in giving us unpublished information. We are also grateful to Miss Yolande Lavoie, research assistant, for her collaboration in the preparation of the data.

Abstract

Depuis 1941, on a observe au Canada des variations importantes du niveau de la fecondite et la tendance est souvent illustree par les fluctuations du taux de natalite. Afin de mieux interpreter ces fluctuations, une analyse des principales composantes du taux de natalite s'avere necessaire: la distribution par age de la population feminine (mariee ou de tout etat matrimonial) et les taux de fecondite par age tant pour les femmes mariees que pour l'ensemble des femmes. C'est la baisse de la fecondite legitime qui est en majeure partie la cause de la chute du taux de natalite observee depuis 1959. Pour approfondir l'analyse, on etablit une comparaison entre des indices de fecondite legitime de cohorte et du moment. De 1946 a 1960, les indices du moment sont nettement plus eleves que ceux de cohorte; cependant contrairement a ce qui s'est passe au cours de cette periode, on observe maintenant un etalement des intervalles entre naissances, de telle sorte que depuis 1960, les indices du moment sont nettement plus faibles que les indices de fecondite legitime de cohorte.

Observers have witnessed important changes in the level of fertility in Canada since 1941. The trend is often illustrated by variations in the birth rate. To understand these variations better, the main components of the birth rate will be analysed: age distribution of total and married female population, and age-specific fertility rates for all women and married women. The decline of marital fertility is mostly responsible for the fall of the birth rate observed since 1959. In a further analysis, period and cohort marital fertility are compared: from 1946 to 1960, period measures were much higher than cohort measures; in contrast to what happened during those years we now observe a spread in birth intervals, so that, since 1960, period measures are much lower than cohort marital fertility measures.

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