Over the past several years there has been increasing concern over Canada’s aging population and declining birth rate. On November 29, 2007 Statistics Canada released a report in TheDaily on Canada’s population by age and sex. As of July 1, 2007 there were 100,800 more seniors (65+) than at the same time last year and it is estimated that by July 1, 2008 a further 300,000 people will turn 65.
342,176 babies were born in 2005 and the fertility rate was at 1.54. Replacement level fertility rate is the average number of children per woman needed to replace the population while taking into account mortality rates, according to Statistics Canada . In order for a country’s fertility rate to be considered at replacement level the average number of children per woman needs to be at 2.1.
The Canadian fertility rate has not been at replacement level since 1971. In 1960 Canada recorded its highest fertility rate at 3.6. From 1960-1971 the fertility rate fell from 3.6 to 2.1 and continued to steadily decline to an all-time low of 1.49 in the year 2000. Between 2000 and 2005 the fertility rate began to inch back up to 1.54 in 2005, still well below replacement.
Canada has attempted to combat the decreasing fertility rate through immigration; however, when Statistics Canada released the 2004 population data they explained that immigration cannot solve the aging population/fertility problems. Immigration may actually contribute to the problem as it raises the overall average age of Canadians. In fact, according to this report “the only way to stop the Canadian ageing process is to increase fertility.”
Since abortion was decriminalized in 1969, a total of 2,790,166 Canadians have been aborted. While increasing the population by almost 3 million people would not completely solve the aging population/fertility problem, those 3 million Canadians would definitely help.
If you consider that children born between 1974 and 1980 are now in their prime childbearing years and 433,270 children from this age group were aborted, that represents 216,635 couples of childbearing age that do not exist. If each of these 216,635 couples each had even 1.5 children that would represent the birth of approximately 324,953 new Canadians.
The number of children aborted between 1994 and 2000 was almost double that of 1974-1980 and represents half a million missing couples and three-quarters of a million missing children. With more than 100,000 abortions occurring each year, the number of missing citizens continues to multiply.
When abortion was first legalized in 1969, for every child that was aborted approximately 7 children were born. In 2004, one child was aborted for approximately every three that were born.
Another contributing factor to Canada’s declining fertility rate is ‘voluntary sterilization.’ A 1995 survey conducted by Statistics Canada found that “4.5 million couples where the women is under the age of 50 (or 46% of all couples in their reproductive years) were sterile for either natural, medical or contraceptive reasons.” Furthermore, 2.7 million women living with a male partner and of reproductive age were surgically sterilized, 57% of whom did so for contraceptive purposes. For men who were surgically sterilized in 1995, 93% did so to prevent conception.
It is also interesting that Canada’s fertility rate began to decline when the pill was first introduced in 1961. Although it was only available by prescription from a doctor who deemed it necessary for therapeutic reasons, women began to control their fertility by chemical means. The pill was completely legalized for use in Canada in 1969.
Statistics Canada. “Canada’s population by age and sex.” The Daily November 29, 2007