Social Policy Trends: Canada and U.S. Fertility Rates,1920-2018

  • Ronald Kneebone
Keywords: fertility rate, social policy, policy trends


The figure shows the fertility rate in Canada and the United States for each year from 1920 to 2018. The fertility rate measures the average number of children that would be born to each woman with prevailing age-specific fertility rates. Also shown, as the horizontal dashed line, is the population replacement rate. The replacement rate is defined as the fertility rate required for the population to replace itself. The replacement rate varies over time and by country due to changes and differences in mortality rates. The replacement rate may have fallen in Canada and the US since 1920 but is currently judged to be roughly 2.1 children per woman.