Oh, for crying out loud: Canada's birth rate down 1.5%, study says

The Canadian Press · Jun. 22, 2012 | Last Updated: Jun. 22, 2012 4:03 AM ET

A new report suggests fewer babies are being born in Canada than in the past. The report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information shows about 5,600 infants were born in hospitals in 2010-2011 - about 1.5% fewer than the year before. The report says this is the first time since 2002-2003 that hospitals have recorded a drop in births. The rate of babies born prematurely before 37 weeks has remained relatively stable at 1 in 12 births, although rates varied among provinces and territories. Alberta and Ontario had the highest rates of preterm births at more than 8%, while Quebec was the only province significantly below the national rate of 7.9%. Caesarean-section rates have remained stable over the years, but women age 35 and older had significantly higher C-section rates than their younger counterparts. The report also shows that hospital admission rates have dropped 31% since 1995.

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