U.S. Birth Rate Reaches a Historic Low

U.S. Birth Rate Reaches a Historic LowOver the past few years the birth rate across the country has been on the decline. Now data shows the U.S. birth rate reaches a historic low leaving some experts to believe we may have a national emergency if the trend continues. Others, however, claim that this is the natural ebb and flow of the human population and the numbers will rise again soon enough.

This information comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2016 population data and has been analyzed by the National Center for Health Statistics. Overall the nation’s birthrate in 2016 was 1.87 percent, which equates to 62 births per 1,000 women between 15 and 44. That’s down 1 percent from the previous year. The average replacement rate for the U.S. is 2.1 percent.

The records show a decline in younger mothers and an increase in older mothers. Here’s an overview of the findings:

Teens: Teen motherhood is on the decline and changed most drastically – 9 percent – since 2015. Teen moms have slowly decreased by 67 percent since 1991. This is great news!

Women 20-24: Four percent decline since 2015

Women 25-29: Two percent decline since 2015

Women 30-34: One percent increase since 2015

Women 35-39: Two percent increase since 2015, the highest rate since 1962

Women 40-44: Four percent increase since 2015

Women 45-49: 0.9 percent increase since 2015

Why the potential national emergency? Some experts claim that without a significant young population, there will not be enough people in the U.S. to support the aging community both logistically and financially. But others say the birth rate will rise again and elderly care will not be an issue, at least not from a population standpoint.

Further analysis showed that more than 28 percent of white babies, nearly 70 percent of black babies and more than 50 percent of Hispanic babies are born to unmarried parents.

Preterm birth, defined by babies born prior to 37 weeks of gestation, increased by approximately .20 percent since 2015. Hispanic babies have the highest percent of preterm births and Asian babies have the lowest, in the U.S.

Cesarean births were on a slight decline from 32 percent in 2015 to 31.9 percent in 2016.

Sources: BabyCenter, New York Times and Washington Post