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CDC: U. S. birth rate falls to 35-year low

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U.S. births have hit the lowest point in 35 years, with fertility rates dipping to “below replacement levels,” according to a federal health …
U. S. births have hit the lowest point in 35 years, with fertility rates dipping to “below replacement levels,” according to a federal health report released Wednesday.
There were 3,745,540 babies born in the U. S. in 2019, down 1% from the previous year, according to provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The fertility rate was 58.2 births per 1,000 women between 15 and 44 years old, a 2% decline from 2018 and another record low.
This is the fifth consecutive year birth rates have declined, and some experts say the coronavirus pandemic could have a lasting impact on family planning.
Dr. Aaron Caughey, an obstetrics and gynecology professor at Oregon Health and Science University, said that despite conjectures about a potential coronavirus-related baby boom, experts don’t know how COVID-19 actually will affect birth rates.
“For the planners, this couldn’t be a worse time to plan a pregnancy,” Dr. Caughey said, noting that many women don’t plan their pregnancies.
There could be a huge uptick in unplanned pregnancies, due to more difficult access to birth control and people spending more time together at home, he said.
“But maybe, potentially, a downtick in planned pregnancies. So the question is, which is going to be the most?” he said.

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