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U.S. birth rates dropped in 2020 to lowest level since 1979
Are you concerned about trends in U.S. birth rates?
By Eric Revell, Countable News
What’s the story?
- Births in the U.S. declined in 2020 to the lowest level in more than four decades amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic according to preliminary data from the National Center for Health Statistics.
- The initial data revealed that an estimated 3.61 million babies were born in the U.S. last year, a decline of 140,000 (or 3.8%) from 2019 and the fewest births since 1979.
- It was the sixth straight year in which the number of births declined, and there were about 700,000 fewer births in 2020 than the 2007 peak of 4.3 million births. This USAFacts chart shows the number of annual birthsdating back to 1980:
- The U.S. birth rate fell by 4.1% to 10.9 births per 1,000 people in 2020, while the fertility rate fell to a record low of 55.8 births per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44.
- Every state experienced a decline in births in 2020 and the number of births fell by more than the national average in 20 states, as this USAFacts chart shows:
- The state with the largest decline in birth rates was New Mexico, where a 7.2% drop nearly doubled the national percentage decrease of 3.8%.
- In three of the four largest states ― California, Florida, and New York ― births declined by more than the national average, while the decrease in Texas was 3.1%.
- States with the smallest declines were New Hampshire (0.56%) and Rhode Island (0.72%).
- The share of total births among mothers between the ages of 15 and 29 declined from 61% in 2010 to 49% in 2020, while the share of births among women between the ages of 30 and 44 rose over the last decade from 39% in 2010 to 49% in 2020. This USAFacts chart shows the percentage of births by age group dating back to 1980:
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