Births in the US climb but not as high as before the pandemic

NEW YORK – The US birth rate increased last year, but the number of babies born is still lower than before pandemic caused by corona virus.

The 1% gain is a bit of a bounce from 2020, the first year of the pandemicwhich saw the largest single-year drop in births in the US in nearly 50 years.

But last year there were still about 86,000 fewer births than in 2019, according to one government report released on Tuesday.

“We’re still not back to pre-pandemic levels,” said Dr Denise Jamieson, chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Emory University School of Medicine.

“The number of births in the US fell for more than a decade before COVID-19 hit, and “I expect that we will continue to see small and modest declines,” she said.

Officials say last year’s increase reflects the number of births from pregnancies that were suspended during the uncertain early days of the pandemic. Brady Hamilton of America said deliveries dropped in January 2021, but improved as that year continued. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Much of the increase was seen in older mothers.

Read more: Home births are becoming more common during the pandemic. But many insurance companies still don’t cover them

“These are births that have been postponed,” said Hamilton, lead author of the new report.

The report is based on a review of nearly all birth certificates issued last year.

Some key findings:

Nearly 3.7 million births were reported last year, up from about 3.6 million recorded in 2020.

The fertility rate fell again for teenagers and women under 25, but increased by 3% for women in their early 30s, 5% for women in their late 30s, and 3% for women. in the early 40s.

Birth rates increased 1% for Hispanic women and 3% for white women. But they fell 1% for Asian women, 3% for Black women, and 4% for Native American and Alaskan women. That may reflect the pandemic’s harsher impact on the health and lives of some racial groups, experts say.

—The United States used to be one of the few developed countries whose birth rate ensured each generation had enough children to replace itself — about 2.1 children per woman. But it slipped and in 2020 drops to around 1.6, the lowest rate on record. It rose slightly last year, to almost 1.7.

– The proportion of babies born small and premature – less than 37 weeks – increased by 4%, to about 10.5%. This is the highest level since 2007.

The rate of preterm births has dropped slightly in 2020, and health officials are not sure why this increase has occurred. But older mothers are more likely to give birth prematurely, as are women infected with COVID-19, said Joyce Martin, a CDC study co-author.


The Associated Press Health and Science Division receives support from the Howard Hughes Health Institute’s Science Education Department. AP is solely responsible for all content.

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