Map of Simcoe Muskoka

Pregnancy and Before

Social Determinants

Population Size and Growth
Education
Income
Employment
Social Support
Sub-Populations

Social Determinants of Health for Women of Reproductive Age

A woman’s life circumstances play a major role in determining the health of her baby. Known as "social determinants of health" these circumstances include factors such as income and education level, social supports, physical environment and working conditions. For example, pregnant women with low income and education and few social supports may have poorer birth outcomes than pregnant women with higher incomes, education levels and strong social supports.  The data on this page are from the 2016 Census.

Population Size and Growth

Women aged 15-54 (women of reproductive age) accounted for 25% (or 135,880 individuals) of the total population in Simcoe Muskoka and 27% of the total population in Ontario in 2016. In both Simcoe Muskoka and Ontario, women aged 15-54 accounted for half of the female population in 2016.

As seen in the chart below, population growth for women aged 15 to 54 in Simcoe Muskoka was the most dramatic between 2006 and 2011. During this time period, this population grew by 2.1% (from 132,610 in 2006 to 135,450 in 2011). From 2011 to 2016, this population grew by only 0.3% (from 135,450 in 2011 to 135,880 in 2016). Overall, this population has grown 2.5% since 2006.

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Education

Women who are better educated are more likely to engage in healthful behaviours such as supplementing prenatally with folic acid and exclusively breastfeeding for six months. As well, the rates of preterm birth, small for gestational age, stillbirth, infant mortality, and smoking during pregnancy all decrease as the level of the mother’s education increases.  According to the 2016 Census, education levels for women ages 20-64 are lower in Simcoe Muskoka than Ontario.

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Income

In 2015, median after-tax income was higher for men compared to women among all age groups between 15 and 54 years in Simcoe County and the District of Muskoka. For example, the median after-tax income for women aged 25 to 34 in private households was $28,435 in Simcoe County and $26,879 in Muskoka District compared to $35,711 and $32,470 for men in the same age group, respectively.

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In 2015, a larger percentage of women aged 15-54 (11.5%) were living in low income households compared to men of the same age (9.9%) in Simcoe Muskoka.  Provincially, a higher percentage of both women and men live in low income households. 

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Employment

A larger percentage of men (85.2%) reported participating in the labour force in Simcoe Muskoka compared to women (79.4%) in 2016 according to the Census. Those not participating in the labour force may have been students, retired, taking care of children or others, were not able to work because of a disability, or were not seeking work.

The unemployment rate for men and women aged 15-54 in 2016 was the same: 7.4% of men and women reported being unemployed in Simcoe Muskoka; and 8.0% of men and women in Ontario.  The unemployment rate is the percentage of people in the labour force who are unemployed.

Social Support

Whether planning to become a parent or expecting a new baby, a strong social network is essential for all mothers to be, especially if they are on their own. A network of friends and family members can provide both emotional and material support. According to the 2016 Census, there are 23,260 lone-parent families in Simcoe Muskoka. This represents 27% of all families with children. In Ontario, 27% of all families with children are lone-parent. In both Simcoe Muskoka and Ontario, approximately 80% of all lone-parent families are headed by women and 20% by men.

Sub-Populations

In Simcoe Muskoka, 5% (or 7,060 individuals) of women aged 15-54 self-identified as an Indigenous Person (First Nation, Métis, or Inuk). A smaller percentage (3%) of the Ontario population identified as an Indigenous Person in the same age group.

Among women aged 15-54 in Simcoe Muskoka, 8% (or 10,500 individuals) self-identified as a visible minority. In comparison, 34% of Ontario women of the same age self-identified as a visible minority.

In 2016, 11% (or 14,600 individuals) of Simcoe Muskoka women aged 15 to 54 self-identified as a person who has immigrated to Canada, while 1% (1,600 individuals) identified as recently immigrating between 2011 and May 2016. The majority of women aged 15 to 54 who immigrated to Canada were born in Europe (42%) or Asia (32%). For those who more recently immigrated, a larger proportion were born in Asia (52%).

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