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  • Posted April 25, 2024

U.S. Births Declined in 2023, Marking End to Post-Pandemic Rise

The short post-pandemic uptick in U.S. births may be over, with 2023 numbers showing a decline in births.

According to provisional data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just under 3.6 million babies were born in America in 2023, about 76,000 fewer than the year before.

It's also the lowest number of births recorded in the United States since 1979.

Demographers weren't surprised, since the U.S. birth rate had been falling for more than a decade before the pandemic.

Births did chart a slight rise in the two years after the pandemic (2021 and 2022), perhaps because some couples had put off pregnancies until the crisis eased.

However, the 2023 numbers "seem to indicate that bump is over and we're back to the trends we were in before,” Nicholas Mark told the Associated Press. He's a University of Wisconsin researcher focused on social factors influencing health and fertility.

For American women generally, the decision to have a child seems to have shifted to later in the lifespan, as more women focus on education and careers prior to childrearing.

Birth rates have steadily fallen for women in their teens and 20s, but have risen among women in their 30s and 40s over time, the statistics show.

However, in 2023 birth rates fell across the board -- they declined among women younger than 40 and were largely unchanged for women in their 40s, the CDC stats showed.

Declines in births were also observed across all races and ethnicities.

The new data was published online April 25 as a National Vital Statistics Services Rapid Release.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on birth rates.

SOURCE: National Vital Statistics Services, rapid release, April 24, 2024; Associated Press

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