Posted on May 21, 2020

US Birth Rate Hits 35-Year Low

Reid Wilson, The Hill, May 20, 2020

The number of children born in the United States has hit its lowest level in 35 years, according to new federal data, as demographers worry that a baby bust that emerged after the Great Recession is becoming permanent.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a report Wednesday that 3.7 million children were born in the U.S. last year, down 1 percent from 2018 and the lowest total number of births since 1985.

Birth rates dropped among women of virtually every age and race group, though they rose among women in their early 40s, the CDC found. Birth rates among teenagers dropped substantially, hitting record lows. The rate of teenagers giving birth has dropped by a whopping 60 percent since 2007, and by 73 percent since 1991.


Studies have shown the overall decline in birth rates is being driven by steep drops among Hispanic women and women who do not belong to religious organizations. A 2018 study by the demographer Alicia Munnell at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College showed the rising number of women who attain college degrees and a shrinking wage gap between women and men are contributing factors, too.