Nine months after the declaration of a national emergency due to the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic, U.S. births fell by 8% in a month.
The December drop marked an acceleration in declines in the second part of the year. For the full year, the number of babies born in the country fell 4% to about 3.6 million, the largest decline since 1973, according to a Wednesday report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The latest data are early evidence of the drastic impact from the health crisis on birth rates, with the full effect expected to show in 2021 data.
A sharp rise was seen last year in the number of states where deaths now exceed birth.
“In 2019, 5 states had more deaths than births. The most in U.S. history to that time.” said Kenneth Johnson, senior demographer at the Carsey School of Public Policy and professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire. “In 2020, 25 states had more deaths than births. The decline has continued in early 2021.”