If you’ve noticed, fertility rates are dropping in the United States. In fact, the birth rate in the United States dropped 4% from 1950 to 2020. The world birth rate has also declined, from five children per woman in 1950 to 2.5 in 2020. More women are dying than giving birth in the United States, so the decline is particularly alarming. However, the CDC didn’t directly attribute this decline to the Covid-19 pandemic.
U.S. fertility rate dropped 4% in 2020
The decrease in the U.S. fertility rate came amid the ongoing pandemic. Some studies have projected that the U.S. birth rate will drop by as much as 300,000 babies by 2021. A recent AP analysis of data from 25 states showed that the decline in births was steeper after COVID-19 lockdowns. As the public health crisis wore on, women may have delayed their pregnancies.
World fertility rate dropped from five children per woman in 1950 to 2.5 in 2020
The decline in the global fertility rate has been attributed to factors related to family size limitation. Women had more children in 1950 than today, but the rates were still higher than in the 1960s. For example, during the 1970s oil shock, U.S. fertility rates fell to a record low of only two children per woman. Similarly, during the Great Depression, fertility rates decreased significantly. Since the 2007 recession, the U.S. total fertility rate has been significantly lower than in 1950. In 2009, the TFR was 2.0, but preliminary data show that the rate was only 1.9 in 2010 and 2011. Other European countries also reported similar declines.
African fertility rates fell by 36% to 4% in the past thirty years
Fertility rates in Africa have declined dramatically in recent decades. Before the one-child policy was adopted, a woman gave birth to an average of 4.5 to 6.2 children. A lower rate means women have more time to pursue other interests. This decrease has also lowered child mortality rates, which had already halved by the end of the 20th century. However, there is a silver lining. While it is not a panacea, it can help halt the aging of the population.
U.S. birth rate has been falling for more than a decade
The decline in the U.S. birth rate can’t be attributed solely to the change in population composition. Birth rates among a variety of demographic groups have decreased, including women in their late 20s and early teens. This trend has continued, and the birth rate is now 75% lower than it was in 1991. Women aged 10 to 14 were the group with the lowest birth rate.
Population composition doesn’t explain decline in births
The birth rate has been declining for several years now, but recent data indicate that this trend is reversing itself. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the birth rate declined for a sixth consecutive year in 2014. The decline in births may be due to a coronavirus pandemic that accelerated the trend of delaying childbirth. While the birth rate recovered after the outbreak, the rate is still declining.