The pandemic was first estimated to contribute to the increase in birth rates as people moved to spend more time at home. Now it seems the opposite has happened.
Stateside just over 3.6 million babies were born last year, the lowest number in more than 40 years, says others The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) based on statistics from the U.S. Office of Communicable Diseases (CDC) released on Wednesday. The birth rate was last low in 1979.
The fertility rate fell to 1.64, the lowest level since the country began keeping birth statistics in the 1930s. The figure tells you how many children an average woman has in her lifetime.
Birth rate has been declining in the United States for the past six years. Last year, it was also likely to be affected by a coronavirus pandemic, which caused not only health threats but also concerns about economic livelihoods. The coronavirus hit the United States more widely only last March, so its potential impact does not explain the development for the full year.
The New York Times (NOW) said the pandemic was first estimated to contribute to an increase in birth rates as people moved to spend more time at home. Now it seems the opposite has happened.
At the end of 2020, when babies born in the first months of the year should have been born, the birth rate decreased the most in months. According to national statistics, births fell by almost 8% last December compared with the same period a year earlier.
According to the NOW, childbirth among women aged 15-44 fell by 19% last year compared to 2007, when statistics show the latest peak in the number of children born.
According to the WSJ, demographers believe that the reasons for the low birth rate are related not only to the potential impact of the pandemic but also to the extensive socio-economic changes taking place in the country.
When in a pandemic year, birth rates declined at the same time as deaths increased and immigration leveled off, U.S. population growth slowed. Developments have been similar throughout the past decade, when population growth has been the second slowest since the 18th century, NOW says.
A journalist from the University of New Hampshire interviewed by the magazine Kenneth Johnson according to the development will lead to an increase in the proportion of the elderly population. He says more deaths than births were recorded in a total of 25 states last year. The number of these states increased from 2019 by five.
Demographer and statistician among the authors of the statistical report Brady Hamilton recalls, however, in the WSJ article that demographic developments are not yet as worrying in the United States as in, for example, Japan, Italy and Germany.
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