In this data snapshot, Senior Demographer Kenneth Johnson reports that recent National Center for Health Statistics birth data indicate there were only 3,661,000 births in 2022, compared to 3,664,000 in 2021, and just 3,614,000 in 2020. These three birth cohorts are the smallest in 40 years and continue a birth decline that began in the era of the Great Recession. The long-term impact of the fertility decline has been substantial. Had 2007 fertility patterns been sustained through 2022, there would have been 9.6 million more births in the last 15 years. A critical long-term question is: how many of these births are being delayed, and how many will be foregone? Women who delayed fertility because of the Great Recession were further challenged by COVID-19, and many are approaching the end of their childbearing years. 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., "U.S. Births Remain Near 40-Year Low for Third Consecutive Year" (2023). The Carsey School of Public Policy at the Scholars' Repository. 467.
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