“We’ve been speculating for some time about the impact on Govt’s births. This latest CDC data provides our best opportunity to date to document what actually happened,” said Philip Levine, a professor of economics at Wellesley College.
Government reports released on Wednesday did not provide any analysis on how Kovit-19 shapes these numbers. But Levine and other experts say there is no doubt that it plays a role – and these numbers point to some of the ways in which the epidemic could shape our society in the years to come.
Even before the epidemic, American births were declining
Demographers are a combination of factors – fewer births, higher mortality and lower immigration – that have already been linked to slowing the country’s population growth. Corona virus infection that exacerbates these trends.
There were 3.6 million births in the United States last year, down 4% from the previous year. Since the increase in 2014, the number of births has dropped by an average of 2% per year. This is the lowest birth rate in the United States since 1979.
The U.S. Birth Rate has dropped for the sixth year in a row, with 55.8 births per 1,000 women aged 15-44, according to the National Health Statistics Center, 4% lower than the previous year.
The new reports are based on provisional data, including more than 99% of birth certificates issued last year.
But how much role does epidemic play?
“It’s hard to separate what could have fallen after the epidemic. … The birth rate has been declining since the previous quarters. It has been declining from 2018 to 2019,” Triscoll said. “The overall trend has not changed.”
The government’s new birth rate data also show that some teens – teens and women 35 and older – are more affected than others, Levine says.
Couples may postpone having children when life is difficult
Changeable temporary numbers of data released on Wednesday. Experts note that the real impact of the epidemic on total birth and fertility rates will be seen in the data from 2021, when all babies born after the onset of the health crisis will be conceived.
“The big question for all of these is, is this going to continue?” Says Levine. “Is this a downside, or is it a downward trend that will last a long time?”
“We’re in the middle of a significant economic downturn that people are reluctant to get into. And a public health crisis creates the greatest uncertainty in people’s lives,” Levine says.
Other factors in the mix: When schools are closed, those who already have children are struggling to balance work and home life, and making relationships more difficult for people.
“All of those things happen at once,” Levine says. “Overall, life is very difficult these days. And having a baby at a time when life is hard doesn’t make sense.”
In some cases, couples who postpone giving birth in 2020 may try again in the future. But it depends on what happens next.
“The long and protracted crisis, and the resulting loss of income, are deep and lasting, and many of the missing Govt births are more likely to be lost forever,” Gurney and Levine wrote.
This is how it will shape the future of our country
Kenneth Johnson, a sociology professor and statistician at the University of New Hampshire, says it is too early to tell how long this decline in fertility will last and whether birth rates will eventually return to pre-epidemic levels or begin to rise beyond that.
“No one knows, honestly. This is a unique situation,” he says.
A total of 25 states saw more deaths than births 2020 – A record high, according to Johnson’s analysis. In 2019, Johnson says, five states saw more deaths than births.
“Even during flu epidemics, we have nothing like this … going from 5 to 25 is amazing,” he says. This trend is likely to continue in several states this year.
Researchers eventually hope for detailed data that will allow them to analyze how the epidemic affected birth rates in different groups, looking at factors such as age, race, socioeconomic status and geography. For 2021, that kind of information will not be available until September 2022.
“Increases will emerge in a way that helps us fill in small parts of the puzzle,” says Levine. “But we have to go a long way in terms of getting data before answering questions. We’re interested.”
Levine says the fall in the number of births caused by infection and the fact that birth rates are declining many years later will bring about significant changes in society.
“This prolonged decline in births exacerbates its impact. In fact, it’s not just 300,000 births at one time (as a result of Govt), it is likely to result in hundreds of thousands of births each year with significant impacts on society,” he says.
“They include economic activity, the settlement of our pension system and other significant social impacts.”
Think about the huge social impacts we saw after child development in the 1950s.
“It’s,” Levine says, “it has the opposite energy.”
The report was contributed by CNN’s Jamie Comprett.