The number of births across the United States fell by 4 percent last year to 1.64 births per woman—the lowest number on record.
The report released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics gathered the data from more than 99 percent of birth certificates issued last year.
What are the key findings? The numbers dropped among every major ethnic group: Birth rates fell 4 percent for black and white women, 8 percent for Asian American women, and 3 percent for Hispanic women.
The CDC said the birth figures leave the nation “below replacement levels,” which means more people are dying than being born. Half of all U.S. states logged more deaths than births.
Brady Hamilton, the lead expert on the report, said anxiety about the pandemic contributed to the decline, yet many of the pregnancies began well before the virus hit the United States.
This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2021, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.