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Baby Bust: Explaining The Declining U.S. Birth Rate

Gerber baby food products are seen on a supermarket shelf in New York City.
Gerber baby food products are seen on a supermarket shelf in New York City.

The U.S. birthrate fell by 4 percent in 2020, hitting a record low, according to the Centers for Disease Control.People are having fewer children than the 2.1 needed to maintain a steady population. That’s been true for years across all domestic communities

According to a Brookings analysis, “U.S. fertility rates are likely to be considerably below replacement levels for the foreseeable future. This is driven by more than a decade of falling birth rates and declining births at all ages for multiple cohorts of women, not simply the aftermath of the pandemic-induced reduction in births.”

Researchers are still trying to figure out exactly why people want fewer children. Others are finding that even if they wanted more children, a rise in infertility might make making them a lot harder

Why is the birth rate in the U.S. right now so low? And if we can find ways to encourage people to have more children, should we?

Copyright 2021 WAMU 88.5