In this data snapshot, author Kenneth Johnson reports that new data for 2020 show a 3.8 percent decline in births since 2019 and the fewest since 1979. There were 16.5 percent fewer births last year than in 2007, just before the Great Recession began to influence births. The cumulative effect of this sustained decline in births means over 7.6 million fewer babies were born in the last 13 years than might have been expected. This is unlikely to change in the short-term because of the pandemic’s adverse impact on fertility.
A critical long-term question is: how many births are being delayed, and how many will be foregone? This has implications for health care, schools, child-related businesses, and eventually for the labor force.
Carsey School of Public Policy
Durham, N.H. : Carsey School of Public Policy, University of New Hampshire
Johnson, Kenneth M., "7.6 Million Fewer Births and Still Counting" (2021). The Carsey School of Public Policy at the Scholars' Repository. 433.
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