The United States birth rate is at a 30-year low in 2017, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics released Thursday.
The number of babies dropped to an all-time low since 1987 with 3.85 million babies born in 2017, two percent fewer than 2016, according to CDC’s study. The drop in women’s fertility is due to a wide variety of factors such as the 2007-2009 recession, more women going to college, and trying to pay off college debt before starting a family, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Kenneth M. Johnson, a demographer from the University of New Hampshire expected birth rates to increase following the 2007-2009 recession. “Every year I expect the number of births to go up and they don’t,” Johnson said. However, approximately 4.8 million fewer babies were born following the recession, according to Johnson.
“People are coming out with a lot of debt,” Jennie Brand, a University of California, Los Angeles sociology and statistics professor who researches fertility, told The Wall Street Journal. “It’s another thing they have to grapple with before they might think about starting a family.”
However, on the bright side, the research also found that teen pregnancy dropped to a new low. The number of teen pregnancies dropped seven percent in 2017 from 2016, 55 percent since 2007, and an overall 70 percent drop since 1991. One explanation might be the use of long-acting birth control.
“I’m absolutely astounded at the continuing decline in teen birthrates,” Brady Hamilton, a statistician at the National Center for Health Statistics. (RELATED: REPORT: Brazilian Women Are Trying To Get Impregnated By Sperm From White American Men)
United States’ fertility rate from women ages 15 to 44 is approximately 60.2 births per 1,000 women. However, this number is nothing compared to Japan, the country with the lowest birthrates. This Asian country has only eight births per 1,000 women, according to 2016 numbers from the World Bank. 2017 numbers showed that 914,000 babies were born in Japan, which is 36,000 less than 2016, according to government data, reported the Japan Times.
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