The TJ has a story today about New Brunswick’s baby boom.
New Brunswick came out on the plus side of the life-cycle equation with a total gain of 1,376 new citizens, compared to 421 in P.E.I.; 134 in Nova Scotia and minus 519 in Newfoundland and Labrador, where deaths are outpacing births.
Once again, we love to set the ‘boom’ bar very low in New Brunswick. Before the sustained period of out-migration in the early 1990s, New Brunswick had a natural increase (births less deaths) of over 4,000 per year. Now we are at 1,376 and that is a boom.
But that is up from 800 last year (again 576 spread over the entire province is not much of a boom) and it is a good question to ask why and will it be sustained.
I just reported yesterday that the low income rate among families is much higher in New Brunswick compared to the other Atl. provinces so increasing affluence does not seem to be driving the baby boom (prima facie) although we are talking about such a small increase it could be affluence among a small group.
There is a strong correlation – generally – between strong economies and baby booms. Successful, job creating places attract young people and young families and that drives up the birth figures (unless your economic growth is based on retirees).
It is pretty amazing to think that the number of births in New Brunswick has dropped almost in half in the past 30 years. The combination of aging population, out-migration and a lack of immigration has been a toxic mix on that front.