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We're Not Having Babies! US Birth Rate Drops To Lowest In More Than 30 Years

We're Not Having Babies! US Birth Rate Drops To Lowest In More Than 30 Years

Americans are having the lowest number of babies in decades.

The 3.7 million babies born in 2018 put the country’s birth rate at its lowest level since the 1980s, after the number of births dropped 2 percent in 2018 from the year before, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.

The nation’s fertility rate — births per population — dropped to 1.72, a record low and well below the 2.1 generally seen as “replacement level fertility,” or enough babies produced by a couple to replace that couple in the population when they die.

U.S. fertility rates have consistently been below replacement levels for about a decade, the CDC said. The agency didn’t speculate on causes for the continuing drop in births.

Birth rates declined for nearly all age groups of women under 35, the agency said, except for women in their late 30s and early 40s, who are having more babies.

Economists have expressed surprise that births have continued to decline even in good economic conditions — a historical indicator for higher birth rates. Among the factors pushing the birth rate down are higher use of contraceptives and falling marriage rates, because married women statistically have more children than non-married women.

Highlights From The Report

Teens are having fewer babies, too. The rate of births to kids aged 15 to 19 was down 7 percent in 2018 to 17.4 births per 1,000.

The women having kids the most is still those in their late 20s – the birth rate for women aged 25-29 was 95.2 per 1,000. But that was down 3 percent from 2017, a record low for our most fertile age group.

The birth rate for U.S. women aged 40-44 rose 2 percent from 2017 to 2018.

The general fertility rate in the U.S. last year was 59 births per 1,000 women aged 15-44. That’s down 2 percent from 2017.

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Posted-In: birth rate Centers for Disease Control and PreventionNews Best of Benzinga


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