US births hit a 30-year low

Imperial Valley Press - - OPINION -

saw the great­est year-toyear drop — about 92,000 less than the pre­vi­ous year.

That was sur­pris­ing, be­cause baby booms of­ten par­al­lel eco­nomic booms, and last year was a pe­riod of low un­em­ploy­ment and a grow­ing econ­omy.

But other fac­tors are likely at play, ex­perts said.

One may be shift­ing at­ti­tudes about moth­er­hood among mil­len­ni­als, who are in their prime child-bear­ing years right now. They may be more in­clined to put off child-bear­ing or have fewer chil­dren, re­searchers said.

An­other may be changes in the im­mi­grant pop­u­la­tion, who gen­er­ate nearly a quar­ter of the ba­bies born in the U.S. each year. For ex­am­ple, Asians are mak­ing up a larger pro­por­tion of im­mi­grants, and they have typ­i­cally had fewer chil­dren than other im­mi­grant groups.

Also, use of IUDs and other long- act­ing forms of con­tra­cep­tion has been in­creas­ing.

The Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion re­port also found:

 The rate of births to women ages 15 to 44, known as the gen­eral fer­til­ity rate, sank to a record low of about 60 per 1,000.  Women in their early 40s were the only group with higher birth rates in 2017, up 2 per­cent from the year be­fore. The rate has been rising since the early 1980s.

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