(Bloomberg) — The US birth rate declined slightly last year after picking up in 2021 from a multi-decade low in 2020, when the pandemic struck.
US births dipped to 3,661,220 last year from 3,664,292 in 2021, according to provisional 2022 birth data released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.
The number of births has declined by an average of 2% per year from 2014 through 2020, including a drop of 4% from 2019 through 2020, when Covid-19 was declared a pandemic. That year saw the lowest birth rate since 1980.
The total fertility rate in 2022 remained below its replacement threshold — the level at which a given generation can exactly replace itself. The US birth rate has been consistently below the replacement rate since 2007.
The decline in births was widespread last year with 38 states and the District of Columbia experiencing a drop. Generally, states in the South of the US saw an increase in 2022. Sizable declines were seen in Illinois, New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and California. Meanwhile, Texas added almost 16,000 births and Florida 8,000.
The number of births from Hispanic mothers rose by almost 50,000 in 2022, while the number of births by White mothers declined by more than 55,000.
The provisional data for 2022 is based on 99.9% of birth certificates issued.
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