U.S. birth rate dropped 4 percent in 2020

Catherine Garcia
·1 min read

In 2020, the U.S. birth rate dropped 4 percent — dipping to the lowest level in 42 years, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

The data shared in the report, published Wednesday, comes from more than 99 percent of the birth certificates issued in the United States in 2020. Last year, 3,605,201 births were recorded, down from 3,747,540 in 2019; 2020 was the sixth year in a row where the number of births in the U.S. dropped. The birth rate for teenage girls between the ages of 15 and 19 also plummeted 8 percent, to a record low of 15.3 births per 1,000.

The total fertility rate, which looks at the average number of times a woman will give birth over the course of her lifetime, fell to 1,637.5 births per 1,000 women. The CDC says in order for a generation to be replaced, that rate needs to be at about 2,100 births per 1,000 women. This sharp drop could hurt the U.S. economy down the road, University of Southern California demographics researcher Dowell Myers recently told CBS News.

"We need to have enough working-age people to carry the load of these seniors, who deserve their retirement, they deserve all their entitlements, and they're gonna live out another 30 years," he said. "Nobody in the history of the globe has had so many older people to deal with."

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