Birth rates in the United States fell to the lowest in 30 years

posted by Jimmy Nguyen -

TWINSBURG, OH - AUGUST 3: Twins Gabriella and Isabella Belsito, 7-mos-old, prepare to take part in the Double Take Parade August 3, 2002 at the Twins Days Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio. (Photo by Mike Simons/Getty Images)

2017 Birth rates in the United States fell to the lowest in 30 years 

Women of reproductive age in the U.S. between the ages of 15-44 are simply not having as many children compared to previous generations for the year 2017. There were 3,853,472 total births in the United States last year.  This is the lowest and sharpest drop since 1978 according to a report by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). 2016 figures were only 2 percent higher.

Fertility rates have also dropped to a low of 60 births per 1,000 women (also of reproductive age). On top of that, the low birthweight rate has risen.

Teenage birth rates fell by 7% to 18.8 births per 1,000 women aged 15-19 years. That's 55% lower than 2007's figures and 70% lower from 1991. Birthrates fell 4% in 2017 for women in their 20s, while the birthrate for women in their 30s fell only slightly at 2%  (100.3 births per 1,000).

C-Section births increased slightly in 2017 to 32% (up from 31.9% in 2016).

These figures are somewhat alarming since they put the U.S. farther away from a total fertility rate (estimate of how many babies a woman would likely have in their lifetime) of 1,764.5 births per 1,000 women. 

The fertility rate gap between Japan, Italy, Greece, and Spain are slowly closing up.

The replacement rate needed for the current U.S. generation to replicate its numbers is 2,100 births per 1,000 women.

To help put things in perspective, the U.S. managed to break its "Baby Boomer" record in 2007 (at 4.3 million births). 

On the bright side, the birth rate data for women between the ages of 40-44 was higher in 2017 at 11.6 births per 1,000 women. That's up 2% from 2016. 

Here’s are the 2017 numbers broken down by ethnicity:

  • All Races and Origins: 3,853,472
  • White: 1,991,348
  • Hispanic: 897,518
  • Black: 560,560
  • Asian: 249,214
  • American Indian or Alaska Native: 29,878
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: 9,418

Birth rates are typically motivated by the country's economic health and other factors and tend to affect economic growth as a whole.

According to the US Census Bureau records, the U.S. population experiences a birth rate increase after an influx of new immigrants is settled in the country.

Photo: TWINSBURG, OH - AUGUST 3: Twins Gabriella and Isabella Belsito, 7-mos-old, prepare to take part in the Double Take Parade August 3, 2002 at the Twins Days Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio. (Photo by Mike Simons/Getty Images)

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