Monday, January 19, 2009

The revenge of the cradle

Quebec, the Canadian province whose birth rate plummeted to 1.36 in the mid-1980s and threatened its French culture with extinction, has climbed back to 1.66 children per woman after efforts by the government to get inhabitants to have children. An initial baby-bonus scheme failed to deliver and generous day care subsidies were only partially successful, reports The Economist. But a more recent parental leave scheme that is more generous than anywhere else in North America saw births in the province jump by 8 per cent in 2006 and a further 2.6 per cent in 2007. Early figures for last year show the trend continuing.


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