United States sees lowest number of births in 32 years as fertility rate drops to record low: Report
The United States is witnessing a decline in its fertility rate and the number of births across the nation. The National Center for Health Statistics at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released data on Wednesday noting that the number of births in the country last year dropped to its lowest in nearly three decades.
Brady Hamilton, author of the report and a natality expert at the center, said: "Even though the number of births we've seen in 2018 is the lowest that we've seen in 32 years, the total fertility rate is at a record low."
The report, which was published on Wednesday, stated that birth rates for women of nearly all age groups younger than 35 declined. However, there was a noted increase for women in their late 30s and early 40s.
The birth rate, from 2017 to 2018, dropped 7 percent among teenagers aged 15 to 19; 4% among women 20 to 24; 3% among women 25 to 29; and 1% among women 30 to 34.
The birth rate saw an increase of 1 percent among women aged 35 to 39 and 2 percent among women aged 40 to 44. The birth rate for women aged 45 to 49, however, did not change in the same time period. This also included births by women aged 50 and older.
According to the report, the provisional number of births in 2018 in the US overall was nearly 3.79 million, a two percent decrease from 2017.
The findings of the report marks the fourth year the number of births have continued to decline in the country, after witnessing an increase in 2014.
The conclusion of the NCHS report is based on birth certificate data from 2018.
"These data provide the official statistics on birth for the United States," Hamilton said, according to CNN. "The data allow you to monitor patterns, in terms of birth-related health issues for infants and mothers, such as cesarean delivery, preterm or low birth weight rates."
Reports state that the provisional date of the report, which is set to be finalized later this year, showed that the total fertility rate for the US last year was 1,728 births per 1,000 women, a decrease of 2 percent from 2017, marking a record low for America.
Total fertility rate is defined as the expected number of births that a group of 100 women would have in their lifetimes, in congruency with what birth rates were by age for that year. In 2018, the nation's fertility rate was below what is required for a population to replace itself.
The authors in the report said: "The rate has generally been below replacement since 1971 and consistently below replacement for the last decade."