“It’s not just Covid. It’s the fact that the birthrates never recovered from the Great Recession.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported females in the U.S., Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands only gave birth to 3.6 million babies in 2020.
It marks the sixth straight year of declining birth rates. It’s also the lowest since 1979.
The 3.6 million births in 2020 are down 4% from those in 2019. Births in the U.S. have declined since 2014, “down an average of 2% per year.”
It looks like the decline in births spans across all races:
From 2019 to 2020, the provisional number of births declined 3% for Hispanic women, 4% for non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black women, 6% for non-Hispanic AIAN women, and 8% for non-Hispanic Asian women (Tables 2 and 3). The 2% decline in the number of births for non-Hispanic NHOPI women was not significant.
The general fertility rate (GFR) in 2020 came out to around 56 births per 1,000 women aged 15-44. This is also a 4% decline from 2019 and an average loss of 2% every year since 2014.
Yes, you guessed it. The decline in GFR hit every race as well.
The provisional total fertility rate (TFR) is an estimate of “the number of births that a hypothetical group of 1,000 women would have over their lifetime, based on the age-specific birth rate in a given year.”
Why, yes. The TFR went down 4% in 2020 from 2019 with 1,637.5 births per 1,000 women. A generation can replace itself with 2,100 births per 1,000 women. Obviously, the U.S. fell short in 2020.
The birth rates dropped with women 15-44. The numbers did not change for those 10-14 and 45-49:
■ The provisional birth rate for women aged 20–24 in 2020 was 62.8 births per 1,000 women, down 6% from 2019 (66.6), reaching yet another record low for this age group (Table 1) (3,8,9). This rate has declined by 40% since 2007. The number of births to women in their early 20s also declined by 6% from 2019 to 2020 (Table 1).
■ The provisional birth rate for women aged 25–29 was 90.0 births per 1,000 women, down 4% from 2019 (93.7), reaching another record low for this age group (3,8,9). The number of births to women in their late 20s declined 5% from 2019 to 2020.
■ The provisional birth rate for women aged 30–34 in 2020 was 94.8 births per 1,000 women, down 4% from 2019 (98.3) (Table 1) (3,8,9). The number of births to women in this age group declined by 2% from 2019 to 2020.
■ The provisional birth rate for women aged 35–39 was 51.7 births per 1,000 women, down 2% from 2019 (52.8). The number of births to women in this age group declined by 2% from 2019 to 2020.
■ The provisional birth rate for women aged 40–44 in 2020 was 11.8 births per 1,000 women, down 2% from 2019 (12.0). The rate for this age group had risen almost continuously from 1985 to 2019, by an average of 3% per year (3,8). The number of births to these women was essentially unchanged from 2019 to 2020.
The world had a COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, but is that the real cause? It certainly did not help:
“It’s not just Covid. It’s the fact that the birthrates never recovered from the Great Recession,” said Kenneth Johnson, senior demographer at the University of New Hampshire. “I’ve been waiting for years to see a big jump in fertility to women in their 30s and it hasn’t happened.”
Prof. Johnson estimates that about 7.6 million fewer babies have been born as a result of lower fertility rates since 2007. He said separately released provisional monthly data from the CDC showed births declined about 7.7% in December. That shows a drop that was already under way before the pandemic and accelerated once the pandemic took hold.
I mentioned above how the stats show a steady decline of 2% every year since 2014.
The study’s co-author Dr. Brady Hamilton said “it was too soon to gauge the exact impact the pandemic had on fertility.”
Millennials chose to postpone family life years before the pandemic. They’re marrying later in life, which results in late pregnancies.DONATE
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