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Child & Family Demographics

Toronto’s children live in diverse families and communities. No two families have the same combination of family structure, ability/disability, race, culture, creed, language, income or any other distinction. Similarly no two Toronto communities have the identical mix of residents, services, parks, housing or amenities. The information below describes some characteristics of Toronto’s children, families and communities.

Based on the 2021 Census, 384,300 children aged 0 to 14 lived in Toronto. This is roughly 13,835 or 3.5% fewer children compared to the 2016 Census. In contrast, the total population of Toronto grew by 62,785 people (a 2.3% increase). In 2021, children made up 14% of the total population in Toronto. The table – Population by age (single years) in Toronto and by neighbourhood – breaks down the child population by single years of age. Use the filter in the top right to view this data at a neighbourhood level.

Child Population by Neighbourhood

When comparing 2016 to 2021, most neighbourhoods in Toronto saw a decrease in children aged 0 to 14. On average, the child population within Toronto neighbourhoods went down by 2.2%.

Out of the 140 neighbourhoods, 38 increased in child population while 102 decreased.

The following maps show percent and number changes in child population for each neighbourhood. Areas where the child population grew include several neighbourhoods in the downtown core, south Etobicoke, and a few neighbourhoods straddling or close to the Etobicoke-North York border. While the child population decreased in most neighbourhoods, ones in the north part of the city experienced some of the bigger declines, particularly in Etobicoke and Scarborough.

*Please note that these maps are based on the 158 social planning neighbourhoods introduced in 2022. To learn more and find your neighbourhood, visit the City of Toronto’s Neighbourhood Profile Page.

Child Population by Age Group

When the number of children is broken down by 5-year age groups, the oldest age group (10 to 14) made up the biggest share of children in 2021 at 34%, while the youngest age group (4 and under) made up the smallest at 32%. This is a change from the 2011 and 2016 Census years when the youngest age group (4 and under) made up the largest share of all children 0 to 14. Over the 10-year period between 2011 and 2021, the number of children 4 and under has continuously dropped: 140,510 in 2011, 136,000 in 2016, and 123,505 in 2021.

The following chart shows how the number of children in each five-year grouping has changed between 2011 and 2021.

When looking at percent change, the two younger age groups decreased.  The youngest age group saw the biggest drop:  There were 9% fewer children 4 and under in 2021 compared to 2016.  This differs from the oldest age group (10 to 14) which increased in size over the same time period.


The total number of births and overall birth rate (crude birth rate per 1,000 population) have been declining in Toronto since 2013. The biggest drop in both indicators happened in 2020: Births were down 1,345 from 2019 (a 4.7% decline). The 2020 birth rate was 9.1%, 0.6 percentage points lower than 2019’s birth rate and the lowest birth rate recorded by Public Health Ontario since 2010. Public Health Ontario birth data does not include births outside of hospitals (estimated to be 2% of total births), and recommends interpreting 2020 data “with caution” as health care availability and “health seeking behaviour” may have changed during that year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Toronto compared to the rest of the GTHA (Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area)

The GTHA is the most populous metropolitan area in Canada and is made up of the regional municipalities of Durham, Peel, Halton, York, the City of Toronto, and the City of Hamilton.

In 2021, the Census counted 1,143,425 children (14 years old and younger) in the GTHA. Of these children:

*Percentages may not sum to 100% due to rounding.

The chart below compares Toronto’s child population to the other GTHA regions.

Compared to 2016, the 3 largest municipalities saw a decrease in the number of children in 2021. The number of children in the 3 smallest municipalities grew.


Statistics Canada, 2021 Census, 2016 Census, and 2011 Census (some data derived from a custom tabulation)
APHEO Reproductive Health Snapshot 2006-2020