Published: Fri, May 18, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

US Fertility Rates Hit Record Low in 2017

US Fertility Rates Hit Record Low in 2017

The 2017 numbers also represent a 10-year fall from 2007, when the US finally broke its post-World War baby boom record, with more than 4.3 million births.

USA birth rates declined last year for women in their teens, 20s, and - surprisingly - their 30s, leading to the fewest babies in 30 years, according to a government report released Thursday. Although it's hard to say for certain what's causing the decline, several factors may be at work, including economic uncertainty stemming from the economic downturn in 2007, reports LiveScience. They may be more inclined to put off child-bearing or have fewer children, researchers said.

The only age group that saw a rise in birth rates: Women in their early 40s.

US women in their teens, 20s and 30s had fewer babies last year than in any year since 1987, the statistical report said.

Another may be changes in the immigrant population, who generate almost a quarter of the babies born in the United States each year.

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. The trustees assume that the rate will rise as the economy strengthens, reaching 2.05 by 2023, then dropping slightly to 2.0 by 2027.

In the United States, the provisional or "draft" number of births in 2017 was tallied at 3,853,472 births - a 2 percent drop from the year before.

"About 10 years since the Great Recession we still see this declining fertility among women in their 20s and that could be problematic if it continues for another three or four years".

Birthrates fell by 4 percent both for women from 20 to 24 years old and for women of ages 25 to 29. The drop included a 2 percent fall among women in their early 30s, a group that still maintained the highest birthrate of any age group, at 100.3 births per 1,000 women.

Birth rates declined for almost all age groups of women under 40 years old.

That decline caused some experts' eyebrows to shoot up, but they also noted the dip was very small.

Another notable finding: The current generation is getting further away from having enough children to replace itself.

The rate in the United States now stands less than the standard benchmark for replacement. In 2017, it fell below 1.8, hitting its lowest level since 1978. For a country that has a population of 325.7 million, that seems pretty low.

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