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US Birth Rate Hits 30-Year Low

18 May 2018

The number of teen births also continued to decline, dropping another 7 percent past year. It shows that the overall birth rate in the United States is down 2 percent on the previous year, making it the lowest on record since 1987.

Births in the US fell to a multi-decade low past year, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics released Tuesday.

The general fertility rate sank to a record low of 60.2 births per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44 - a 3 percent drop from 2016, the CDC said in its tally of provisional data for the year.

Economic expansion is generally driven by population growth and worker efficiency, both of which have slowed in the past decade. The replacement rate is 2,100 births per 1,000 women.

This is thought to be down to a number of different factors.

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As The Associated Press reports, the us birthrate is "still above countries such as Spain, Greece, Japan and Italy, but the gap appears to be closing". One group that ran against the trend was older women. One happy finding: Births in the 15 to 19 age group were down 7%, down 55% since 2007, and down 70% from a high in 1991, a trend one statistician called "phenomenal".

Women in their 40s were the only group to see a higher birthrate previous year.

Perhaps most surprising, birth rates for women in their 30s fell slightly, dipping 2 percent for women ages 30 to 34 and 1 percent for women 35 to 39. They fell 4 percent.

While there's little doubt that fewer births could put a strain on the American social safety net, it's worth noting that there are solutions to the problems produced by dropping fertility, including higher payroll taxes and increased immigration.

Birth rates for women in their 30s had been rising steadily to the highest levels in at least half a century, and women in their early 30s recently became the age group that has the most babies.

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The low birthweight rate (LBW) also increased in 2017 for the third straight year to 8.27 percent, from 8.17 percent in 2016.

The same trend holds true for OH, where about 136,000 babies were born in 2017, compared to more than 150,000 in 2007.

"To me the biggest surprise is the continuing decline of fertility rates among young women", said William Frey, a demographer and senior fellow of the Metropolitan Policy Program at The Brookings Institution.

The CDC also tallied births by race and cultural data (but it doesn't yet have the data to compare those figures to the overall populations).

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US Birth Rate Hits 30-Year Low