Birth Rate in United States Hits 32-Year-Low, New Report Says

There are a lot fewer babies running around in recent years after the birth rate in the United States fell to a 32-year-low in 2018, according to a new report released Wednesday.

While more than 3.78 million babies were born in 2018, according to the figures released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it's a 2 percent drop in birth rates from 2017 and the lowest number in 32 years. According to the CDC's report, fertility rates also fell in the U.S. to a record low of 1.728 births per woman - which means there aren't enough babies being born to replace current population levels. The rate has fallen in recent years and 2018 was again "below replacement." A generation can only replace itself if birth rates are at 2,100 births per 1,000 women, health officials said.

"The rate has generally been below replacement since 1971 and consistently below replacement for the last decade," the report added.

The report was based on birth certificate data gathered from all fifty states as processed by the National Center for Health Statistics. The data only shows the trend in fertility and birth rates, but not why they may be falling.

The birth rate for teenagers aged 15–19 was also down 7% in 2018 to 17.4 births per 1,000 women; rates declined for both younger (aged 15–17) and older (aged 18–19) teenagers.

Older women saw increased birth rates with a 1 percent increase for women ages 35-39 and 2 percent for women ages 40-44. That backs previous studies which has shown more and more younger people delaying marriage and starting families later in life.

Experts also blame the Great Recession for poor birth rates over the last decade as people found themselves in a place where they could not care for a child or family.