San Francisco Chronicle

Lowest rate in nearly 50 years

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The U.S. birth rate fell 4% last year, the largest singleyear decrease in nearly 50 years, according to a government report being released Wednesday. The rate dropped for moms of every major race and ethnicity, and in nearly every age group, falling to the lowest point since federal health officials started tracking it more than a century ago.

Births have been declining in younger women for years, as many postponed motherhood and had smaller families.

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