US Fertility Rate Declines for Sixth Straight Year

During 2020 the US birth rate fell 4% lower than the year before – the largest drop in nearly 50 years, according to government data released Wednesday.

The report showed the number of births fell across all ethnicities and origins.

“This is the sixth consecutive year that the number of births has declined after an increase in 2014, down an average of 2% per year, and the lowest number of births since 1979,” the National Center for Health Statistics said.

The new rate of 55.8 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44 is now considered “below replacement,” meaning there wouldn’t be enough births for the current generation to replace itself, according to officials.

“The rate has generally been below replacement since 1971 and has consistently been below replacement since 2007,” according to the agency, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About 3.6 million babies were born last year, the CDC found.

The highest birthrate was among women between the ages of 30 to 34 years old, with 94.8 births per 1,000 women, the report said.

Meanwhile, the rate of delivery by cesarean section increased from 31.7% in 2019 to 31.8% in 2020 after generally declining since 2009.

According to The New York Post the decline in birth rates, “combined with an aging baby boomer population, lowered immigration and 578,000 COVID-19 deaths, have slowed the nation’s population growth to a rate of about half a percent,” the government said.

About Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith is a newcomer to Washington D.C. She met and married an American journalist and moved to D.C. from the U.K. She graduated with a B.A. in Graphics, Media, and Communications and worked in design and retail in the U.K.

Photo: Getty Images

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