As per the data provided by the CDC, the number of babies born in America in 2020 was the lowest since 1979. The federal figures released on Wednesday has shown a continuous decline in US fertility rate, with 2020 reaching the lowest in more than four decades.
According to the CDC figures, US women had about 3.61 million babies in 2020. Precisely, the US birth rate dropped 4% last year, which has been noted to be the largest single year decrease in 42 years. Besides, the total fertility rate fell to 1.64, which is also the lowest rate on record since the government started keeping track in 1930s.
Reports say that the birth have been declining in the younger women for years, with women postponing their plans on having a baby and their preferring smaller families. However, the birth rates for women in their late 30s and 40s have been rising, but it was not significant in 2020. Dr. Brady Hamilton of the CDC reported, “The fact that you saw declines in births even for older moms is quite striking,”
These new CDC figures are based on a review of more than 99% of birth certificates issued in 2020. The reports show that the current generation is moving further away from having children. CDC said that the U.S. birth rate is so low, the nation is “below replacement levels”, which means more people die every day than are being born.
Many of the 2020 pregnancies began before the US epidemic of COVID-19. Certainly, the pandemic has strongly contributed to this decline. The poor health condition and environment that rose with COVID-19 played a vital role in women’s decision making about getting pregnant.
Dr. Hamilton stated, “The fact that you had this coincide with the time the pandemic hit is certainly cause for suspicion.” However, he also mentioned that it is too soon to determine the exact impact of the pandemic on the declining birth and fertility rates. Hamilton said CDC researchers are working on a follow up report to determine what caused such steep decline.
Besides COVID-19, medical experts are linking this decline to lack of vital resources such as housing and food and the rise in unemployment rates.