Birth and fertility rates in the United States fell again last year, according to figures released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with births down 4% to the lowest level in more than 40 years.
Complete and general fertility rates in 2020 fell 4 percent from 2019 to new lows. According to the survey, at the present rate (known as “below replacement”), more people die per day than are created.
The drop from 2019 to 2020 is the highest in a single year in nearly 50 years.
The U.S. birth rate last year was down to about 56 births per 1,000 women of child-bearing age, which is the lowest rate on record.
The birth rate figure, the lowest since 1979, continues a downward trend and marks the sixth consecutive year that the number of births have declined.
The overall downturn is not attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the study.
According to the report, approximately 3.6 million births were registered nationwide in 2020, a decrease from 3.75 million births in 2019. The number for 2019 was down from 3.79 million in 2018.
According to the survey, the number of births decreased for women of all races and ethnicities from 2019 to 2020: 4% for White and Black women, 3% for Hispanic women, 8% for Asian Americans, and 6% for Native Americans and Alaska Natives.
Teenage birth rates have also dropped to record lows, with births to 15- to 17-year-olds dropping by 6% and births to 18- to 19-year-olds falling by 7%.
According to the study, from 2007 to 2020, the figures for adolescents aged 15 to 17 fell by 9% each year, while those aged 18 to 19 fell by 7%. Females aged 15 to 19 had 157,500 fewer births last year, representing an 8 percent decrease year on year.
Birth rates for women aged 20 to 24 fell by 6%, while those aged 25 to 29 fell by 4%, all of which were record lows. According to the results, the rate for women 30-34 dropped by 4%, 35-39 dropped by 2%, and women 40-44 dropped by 2% from 2019.
Dr. David Gozal, a child welfare researcher, recently stated that birth rates in high-income countries such as the United States are projected to fall for many years, accelerating population ageing.
“In general, longevity has increased while fertility has declined, resulting in an increase in the proportion of the older people,” Gozal, head of paediatrics at the University of Missouri Women’s and Children’s Hospital, told UPI in March.
Gozal did not take part in the CDC investigation.
The figures published on Wednesday were derived from preliminary demographic projections from the 2010 Census and birth certificates obtained from the National Center for Health Statistics as of Feb. 11.