Birth rates in the United States have dropped to their lowest level in a decade as a result of the pandemic.
According to the data released by the CDC’s National Center for Health, birth rates fell in every race, ethnicity, and age group, including teenagers (though teenage birth rates have been dropping in the US for decades).
Even, falling birth rates are a concern in developing countries, including the United States. The provisional data for 2020 shows a decrease of 3.6 million births for the sixth year in a row. The downturn would most likely resume in 2021, when the pandemic’s full effect will be felt, but with a nine-month delay.
According to surveys conducted by Ovia Health, a women’s health technology firm, concerns of contracting the virus while pregnant or in the hospital to give birth, coupled with job insecurity and government restrictions on social interaction and business activity, dissuaded Americans from having children.
There are several factors that go into family planning, and an entire ecosystem of support that enables and empowers parents and parents-to-be,” said Paris Wallace, chief executive of Ovia Health. “In 2020, nearly all of those factors were turned on their head, and many of those support systems came crashing down.
Though birth rates dropped for women of all ages between 15 and 40, the declines were more pronounced in COVID-19-affected states like California and New York. In areas like NYC, where the relentless shriek of emergency sirens likely made it difficult for couples to get in the mood over the summer, the migration from crowded urban centers intensified the decline in birth rates.
To summarize, a decreasing birth rate leaves the United States with two choices: raise immigration or face a blowout in the per-capita level of the country’s exploding debt.