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Circumcision practices in Canada

The Maternity Experiences Survey, conducted in 2006 by the Public Health Agency of Canada, found an average national newborn circumcision rate of 31.9%.

The results of that study, gathered through telephone interviews with nearly 6,500 women who had just given birth, were presented at the 2008 annual meeting of the Canadian Paediatric Society in Victoria.

Rates varied widely across the country, from zero in Newfoundland and Labrador to 44.3% in Alberta.

Proportion of male infants circumcised (%),
by province/territory,
Canada, 2006/2007
Newfoundland and Labrador *
Prince Edward Island 39.2
Nova Scotia 6.8
New Brunswick 18.0
Quebec 12.3
Ontario 43.7
Manitoba 31.6
Saskatchewan 35.6
Alberta 44.3
British Columbia 30.2
Yukon *
Northwest Territories 9.7
Nunavut *
Canada 31.9
* Numerator too small for rate calculation
Source:  Maternity Experiences Survey


For purposes of comparison, statistics from the 1970s are presented below:

  1973 1974 1975 1976 1977
  proportion of male infants circumcised (%)
Canada 47.4 46.9 44.3 41.9 38.8
Newfoundland and
Labrador
3.2 5.3 4.5 3.3 2.4
Prince Edward Island 60.9 66.9 66.3 56.4 53.4
Nova Scotia 39.8 37.3 35.6 31.7 27.8
New Brunswick 40.6 40.9 39.5 35.1 31.8
Quebec 27.7 25.2 21.5 16.2 12.7
Ontario 59.8 60.0 57.7 55.7 54.3
Manitoba 55.6 56.3 52.0 52.3 46.7
Saskatchewan 51.2 53.7 51.0 53.7 51.2
Alberta 55.8 55.8 53.9 50.7 52.6
British Columbia 54.7 52.4 54.1 58.0 46.0
Yukon n/a* 65.0 68.0 64.7 74.8
Northwest Territories n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
* n/a, not available
Source:  Wirth JL. Current circumcision practices: Canada. Pediatrics 1980; 66(5): 705-708