In this data snapshot, Senior Demographer Kenneth Johnson reports that with Covid-induced mortality at record highs and continuing low fertility during the past three years, U.S. births exceeded deaths by the smallest margin in more than a century. Such widespread natural decline is unprecedented. At least 22 states had a natural decline in each of the three pandemic years. Prior to the pandemic, the most states with more deaths than births in a year was 5 in 2019. There will be fewer states with more deaths than births in 2023 if the recent reductions in Covid deaths persist. But many of the demographic factors contributing to rising mortality and declining fertility predate the pandemic, so deaths will continue to exceed births in some states in the near term and in more states in the future.


Carsey School of Public Policy

Publication Date

Summer 6-27-2023


Data Snapshot


Durham, N.H. : Carsey School of Public Policy, University of New Hampshire

Document Type



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