US birth rate falls to record low after pandemic bump

The U.S. birth rate fell to a record low after seeing a bump during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The provisional number of births in 2023 was 3,591,328 — a 2 percent drop from the previous year, which saw 3,667,758 births.

“Last year, the difference was very small. This year, it’s something on the order of 74,000 or thereabouts. So it’s fairly large,” CDC report author Brady Hamilton told CBS News.

The birth rate declined by significant margins for some ethnic and racial groups.

The number declined by 5 percent for American Indian and Alaska Native women from 2022 to 2023. For Black women, the drop was 4 percent.

White women had a 3 percent drop while Asian women had a 2 percent drop, and Hispanic women had a 1 percent increase in births.

The new data showed the total fertility rate dropping 2 percent from 2022. Birth rates for women in the 15-19 and 35–39 declined in 2023.

The report found that the cesarean delivery rate had an uptick to 32.4 percent in 2023. It represented a slight increase from 32.1 percent in 2022. Cesarean delivery increased with Asian, Hispanic and white women, but was the highest among Black mothers with 37 percent, a 0.2 increase from the previous year.

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