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U.S. birth rate sees increase for first time since 2014

U.S. birth rate sees increase for first time since 2014
A mother balances a bottle on her cheek to feed her baby while voting in the 2021 elections at the Madison Community Center in Arlington, Va., on November 2. The U.S. birth rate increased in 2021. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

May 24 (UPI) -- The U.S. birth rate in 2021 was 1% higher than the year prior, the first increase in the figure since 2014, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control said Tuesday.

Provisional data for 2021 show that 3.66 million babies were born, with a general fertility rate of 56.6 births per 1,000 women aged 15-44. Both figures represented a 1% increase from 2020, which saw a 4% drop from 2019, the largest decline in nearly five decades.

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The annual number of births in the United States hasn't rebounded to pre-pandemic levels. In 2019, there were 3.75 million births and there were 3.79 million in 2018.

CDC data indicates the birth rate has declined about 2% each year since the last increase in 2014.

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Beth Jarosz, program director with Population Reference Bureau, told CNN that the increase in 2021 "doesn't necessarily mean that that declining trend is over."

"I'm always a little bit skeptical of just one year [of data]. But in this case, I really would need to see what happens in 2022 to try to suggest that that's any kind of a rebound or trend."

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By demographics, births rose 2% for White and Hispanic women, and declined 2% for Black women and 3% for American Indian/Alaskan Native and Asian women.

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By age, the birth rate was 14.4 births per 1,000 teenagers, down 6% from 2020 and 65% since 2007.

The rate was 61.5 births per 1,000 women age 20-24; 92 births for women 25-29; 97.3 births for women 30-34; 54.2 births for women 35-39; 12.1 births for women 40-44; and 1 birth for women 45-49.

Caesarian deliveries increased from 31.8% of all deliveries to 32.1% in 2021, the second yearly increase in a row after a general decline since 2009. Pre-term births -- those at less than 37 weeks of gestation -- rose 4%, the highest rate since 2007.

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