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US Birth Rates Fell to a Record Low in 2019, Driven by a Sharp Drop in Teen Pregnancies

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] reported yesterday that births fell again in 2019, to their lowest level in 35 years. American women are now projected to have just 1.71 children over their lifetimes, substantially below the rate of 2.1 needed to replace the prior generation. America has now been consistently below replacement level since 2007, and it's part of a trend impacting almost all highly developed nations.

The report also noted the continued decline of teen pregnancies. The overall decline in births has been driven, in part, by a 73% reduction in the teen birth rate since 1991, often attributed to greater availability of birth control and a heightened emphasis on comprehensive sex education programs in our public schools.

Additionally, the report notes that many women are waiting until later in life to begin families. In 2019, birth rates fell again for women in their 20s and early 30s, but rose for women in their early 40s. And the rate for women 40 to 44 years old has risen almost continuously since 1985, by about 3% per year.

Some experts believe the current Covid-19 crises and its economic impact will drive birth rates even lower this year.

AP: “This unpredictable environment, and anxiety about the future, is going to make women think twice about having children,” said Dr. Denise Jamieson, chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Emory University."

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By: Don Lam & Curated Content

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