The birth rate in the United States fell 4 percent in 2020 to about 3.6 million babies, its sixth-straight annual decline. People in the United States had the lowest number of babies in more than 40 years last year, mirroring a slump in European birth rates.
“The recent decline in birth rates reflects both a longer-term downward trend in birth rates that was apparent prior to the pandemic and pandemic-related reduction,” said Lorna Thorpe, director of epidemiology at the Department of Population Health at NYU Langone in New York City.
US fertility rates have dropped over the years as women marry late and delay motherhood, especially in years when the economy has slowed. Many European countries have also seen a decline in births and demographics experts have forecast a baby bust across the continent this year. In Italy, nine months after the country went into Europe’s first lockdown, births plunged 22 percent in December.