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Birth rates on the rise in the B.C. Interior

East Kootenay Regional Hospital reports a six per cent birth rate increase last year over 2020

Oh, baby.

Last year, Interior Health reports 6,136 newborns were delivered in hospitals across the region — a nine per cent increase over 2020.

In Cranbrook, the East Kootenay Regional Hospital reported a five per cent increase, going from 391 newborns in 2020 to 409 in 2021. Additionally, the BC Vital Statistics Agency also reports that of those births at EKRH, 201 reside in Cranbrook, based on the mother’s residential address.

“Interior Health is happily welcoming our tiniest patients to the world as communities grow throughout the region,” said Susan Brown, Interior Health President and CEO. “I would like to congratulate all of the families who welcomed newborns last year and thank our dedicated maternity teams for ensuring the highest quality of care for these little ones and their families.”

Averaging out over 2021, there were approximately 511 births per month.

Kootenay-Boundary Hospital in Trail led the way with the largest percentage increase at 30 per cent, going from 182 newborns in 2020 to 236 in 2021.

Elsewhere in the Kootenays, Elk Valley Hospital reported an additional two births between 2020 and 2021, going from 117 to 119, Invermere and District Hospital reported an additional two births, rising from 12 to 15, and Golden and District Hospital stood pat at 58 births for both years.

Hospitals in the Okanagan region reported the largest number of babies born in the B.C. Interior. Kelowna General Hospital noted 1,808 births in 2021, a 12 per cent increase over 2020, while Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops reported 1,228 births, a four per cent increase over 2020.

Very minimal decreases in birth rate percentages were reported at Cariboo Memorial Hospital in Williams Lake and Creston Valley Hospital.

While BC Vital Statistics Agency tracks births by community, so too does it track deaths.

According to the statistical report, there were 280 deaths in Cranbrook in 2021, based on the address of the deceased. That’s a six per cent increase over 2020, as the agency recorded 264 deaths.

Trevor Crawley

About the Author: Trevor Crawley

Trevor Crawley has been a reporter with the Cranbrook Townsman and Black Press in various roles since 2011.
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