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BORN Registry data can help answer this question!

BORN Ontario collects data about pregnancy and birth for infants born in the province. We took a look at births that occurred during the pandemic (see Figure 1). Although data for the most recent months are incomplete (birth records are still being processed), the numbers seem to indicate some divergence from previous years.

The number of births for pregnancies that started before the pandemic seem to be lower than past years.  The months with the lowest numbers of babies seem to be 9-10 months after the first wave hit Ontario in March 2020. Perhaps a reflection of the uncertainty, anxiety, and stress of those early days, or perhaps some other factors? Beginning in March of 2021, however, we’re seeing an increase in the number of births (exceeding the number of infants born in fiscal years 2018 and 2019). Will this trend continue or level off?

Of course, all of these observations are very preliminary. We need more data to complete the picture and further analysis to make any definitive conclusions. But it’s interesting to peek at the data and get a sense of what may be happening.  

Check back regularly as we update these numbers and share more Ontario-specific data.  

graph showing infants born during the pandemic vs 2018 and 2019

Figure 1 - Infants born during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario

 Data Source
 BORN Ontario, 2018-2021
 Definition of Indicator
Infants born in Ontario is calculated using submitted birth child records, plus incomplete infant records from December 2020 to June 2021. More recent months (dashed line) include more incomplete records and should be interpreted with caution as they are subject to change. Incomplete records have not been verified by hospitals and may not represent unique infants.  
 Notes

1. Submitted birth records were extracted from the BORN Information System (BIS) on Sept 1, 2021. Incomplete infant records were extracted from the BIS on Aug 28, 2021

2. Calendar year was defined by infant date of birth. Each calendar year ranges from January 1 to December 31, inclusive.

Accessible Version

View the data in table format.

Interpretation: This graph shows the number of infants born in Ontario per month in the 2020 and 2021 calendar years compared to the combined average of the previous two calendar years (2018 and 2019). There appears to be a pronounced decrease in births per month starting in August 2020 with the largest decrease observed in January 2021. Birth numbers from February to June 2021 no longer show a decrease compared to previous years but these estimates may change as they are partially based on incomplete infant records.

 

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