The birth rates in the United States have fallen another 4% in 2020 according to a study. This is happening despite the expectation that the U.S. would see a “baby boom” due to the COVID-19 pandemic and all associated lockdown procedures. The current rate shown is now at the “lowest point since federal health officials started tracking it more than a century ago,” reported the Associated Press.
“The U.S. birth rate fell 4% last year, the largest single-year decrease in nearly 50 years, according to a government report being released Wednesday,” the Associated Press reported. “The rate dropped for moms of every major race and ethnicity, and in nearly every age group, falling to the lowest point since federal health officials started tracking it more than a century ago.”
“About 3.6 million babies were born in the U.S. last year, down from about 3.75 million in 2019,” noted the AP. “When births were booming in 2007, the U.S. recorded 4.3 million births.”
This newly discovered drop is concerning as it puts the U.S. at the lowest birth rates it has seen since the tail end of the “baby boom” that surged in wake of World War II. “The U.S. birth rate dropped to about 56 births per 1,000 women of child-bearing age, the lowest rate on record. The rate is half of what it was in the early 1960s.”
“Births have been declining in younger women for years, as many postponed motherhood and had smaller families,” the news source went on to say, though the government thinks that the drop stems from a group of factors, both cultural and economic, that have lead to the drop in fertility. In the years prior, birth rates for mothers in their 30s and 40s were on the upswing, but “not last year.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has gone out to say that the pandemic may have been a lead contributor to the decline. Despite the expectations that couples might become parents due to the extended quarantine, it seems that would-be parents have been avoiding having children throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This is maybe due to concerns about rearing a child in a world that did not have a handle on the virus.
“While the agency didn’t directly attribute the overall drop in births to the COVID-19 pandemic, it looked at birth rates among New York City women who delivered their babies outside the five boroughs during the height of the outbreak in the U.S.,” CNBC stated. “Women fled the city to give birth from March through November last year, with out-of-town births among NYC residents peaking in April and May at more than 10% for both months — a more than 70% increase from the previous year. Among white women, the percentage of out-of-town births was 2.5 times higher in 2020 than 2019. Out-of-town births among Black and Hispanic women were considerably lower and increased only for two of the months last year.”
The study points out that women may have been concerned about the idea of going through the delivery of their babies in hospitals where COVID-19 was running rampant, especially those in New York City which is widely thought of as the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States.