US birth rate continues to fall

Associated Press

(May 15, 2019) - 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.

Whether more U.S. women are postponing motherhood or forgoing it entirely isn't yet clear.

If trends continue, experts said, the U.S. can expect labor shortages including in elder care when aging baby boomers need the most support.

"I keep expecting to see the birth rates go up and then they don't," said demographer Kenneth M. Johnson of University of New Hampshire's Carsey School of Public Policy.

He estimates 5.7 million babies would have been born in the past decade if fertility rates hadn't fallen from pre-recession levels.

"That's a lot of empty kindergarten rooms," said Johnson, who wasn't involved in the report.

Other experts are not concerned, predicting today's young women will catch up with childbearing later in their lives. The only two groups with slightly higher birth rates in 2018 were women in their late 30s and those in their early 40s.

"Our fertility rates are still quite high for a wealthy nation," said Caroline Sten Hartnett, a demographer at the University of South Carolina.

American women are starting families sooner than most other developed nations, according to other research . Other countries are seeing similar declines in birth rates.

Young Americans still want to have children, but they don't feel stable enough to have them yet, said Karen Benjamin Guzzo, who studies families at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

The U.S. could do more to encourage childbearing with parental leave, preschool expansion and child care subsidies and other policies aimed at helping young adults struggling with student loan debt and housing costs, Guzzo said.

Births were down across racial groups, with small declines for Hispanics, whites, blacks and Asians. The number of babies born to native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders was stable.

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%.

Consider Supporting Us?

The staff at Onenewsnow.com strives daily to bring you news from a biblical perspective. If you benefit from this platform and want others to know about it please consider a generous gift today.

MAKE A DONATION

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

I agree with this HHS proposal reversing the Obamacare section benefiting transgenders primarily because …

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

  Tornadoes rake 2 Oklahoma cities, killing 2 and injuring 29
  Israeli president shocked by German kippa warning
Iraq offers to mediate in crisis between its allies Iran, US
Venezuela negotiators return to Norway for crisis talks
Mike Pence: West Point grads should expect to see combat
Flooding leads to Oklahoma and Arkansas evacuations
New candidates vie to succeed UK’s May with focus on Brexit
Bolton says N. Korea missile tests violated UN resolutions

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Gillette is at it again: This time featuring Samson, a transgender man shaving for the first time
French police hunt man who planted explosive device in Lyon, release surveillance photos
Tornado strikes El Reno, Oklahoma; at least 2 deaths confirmed: reports
Thousands march in Hong Kong to commemorate June 4 protests
Israelis protest moves to grant Netanyahu immunity, limit Supreme Court

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day
NEXT STORY
Tornadoes rake 2 Oklahoma cities, killing 2 and injuring 29

EL RENO, Okla. (May 26, 2019) — A tornado leveled a motel and tore through a mobile home park near Oklahoma City overnight, killing two people and injuring at least 29 others before a second twister raked a suburb of Tulsa more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) away, authorities said Sunday.