US birth rates hit another record low in 2018

Khabarhub

May 15, 2019

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US birth rates hit another record low in 2018

Photo: AP

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CALIFORNIA: The U.S. birth rate continues to fall, reaching another record low in 2018, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Last year, there were 59 births per 1,000 U.S. women ages 15 to 44, which is 2% lower than the rate in 2017, and the lowest recorded rate since the government started tracking birth rates in 1909, according to the report.

Overall, just under 3.8 million babies were born in 2018, which is a 2% drop from the number born in 2017, and the lowest number of births in the U.S. in 32 years, the report said.

Birth rates generally declined for women under 35, and in particular, for women in their early 20s, who saw a 4% drop in birth rates from 2017 to 2018. In contrast, birth rates rose slightly for women ages 35 to 39 and 40 to 44.

The birth rate among females ages 15 to 19 also fell 7% from 2017 to 2018, to a rate of about 17 births per 1,000 teens.

America’s baby bust isn’t over. The nation’s birth rates last year reached record lows for women in their teens and 20s, a government report shows, leading to the fewest babies in 32 years.

The provisional report, released Wednesday and based on more than 99% of U.S. birth records, found 3.788 million births last year. It was the fourth year the number of births has fallen, the lowest since 1986 and a surprise to some experts given the improving economy.

The fertility rate of 1.7 births per U.S. woman also fell 2%, meaning the current generation isn’t making enough babies to replace itself. The fertility rate is a hypothetical estimate based on lifetime projections of age-specific birth rates.

If trends continue, experts said, the U.S. can expect labor shortages including in elder care when aging baby boomers need the most support. He estimates 5.7 million babies would have been born in the past decade if fertility rates hadn’t fallen from pre-recession levels.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report also found:

—Overall, the U.S. birth rate for women ages 15 to 44 was 59 births per 1,000 women, an all-time low.

—Last year, there were 2% fewer births than in 2017.

—Births to teenagers again reached a record low. The number of births to mothers ages 15 through 19 was 179,607, down 8%.

—The rate for premature births — delivery at less than 37 weeks — rose for the fourth straight year to just over 10%, from 9.9%.

(Agencies)

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