Pandemic could be behind drop in US birthrate: report

The birthrate declined in 2020 for the 6th straight year and the pandemic may have something to do with it.

A federal government report on Wednesday said there is evidence the coronavirus pandemic has led American women to delay pregnancy, according to The New York Times.

There was speculation early in the pandemic that having couples hunkered down together, might spur a recovery in the birthrate, but it seems to have had the opposite effect.

Births were down about 8 percent in December compared with the same month the year before.

For the year, the rate is down 4 percent to 3,605,201 births, the lowest number since 1979.

The Times reports the birthrate is just one piece of the demographic puzzle. Add to that a leveling-off of immigration, and rising deaths, the country’s population over the past decade expanded at the second-slowest rate since the government started counting in the 18th century. 

Births tend to dip after economic crises, as women put off having babies because of uncertainty with jobs and income.

Today the average age at first birth is 27, up from 23 in 2010.

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