U.S. Birth Rates Drop to Lowest Since 1979

May 11, 2021

The birth rate in the U.S. declined in 2020 for the sixth consecutive year, reaching a level not seen since 1979. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows 3.6 million babies were born in 2020, which is a 4% drop from 2019.
 
While the CDC did not draw a correlation between declining birth rates and the health and economic concerns of 2020, it did look at the number of New York City residents who gave birth outside of the city during 2019-2020 compared to 2018-2019. The “Big Apple” was an early epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., causing some women to leave to give birth outside of the city to decrease their risk of contracting the virus. The study found that “out-of-town” births increased every month between March and November, “ranging from a 15% increase for September to a 70% increase for April.”
 
Fertility rates in the U.S. also reached a record low.
 
The provisional fertility rate (GFR) was 55.8 births per 1,000 women and the total fertility rate (TFR) in 2020 was 1,637.5 births per 1,000 women, which the CDC says is below replacement. That means it is below “the level at which a given generation can exactly replace itself.”


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