The U.S. Birth Rate Is Still Falling

A new report on falling fertility rates doesn’t speculate about why rates have been falling, but cultural shifts, economic anxiety, and a slew of other factors likely all play a role.

The fertility rate in the United States has been falling for years, dipping so low that the nation’s population would be declining without immigration, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This marks the seventh straight year that the fertility rate has dropped.

In 2017, the nationwide fertility rate was 1,765.5 births per 1,000 women of childbearing age—well below the rate of 2,100 births per 1,000 women necessary to keep the population stable. There were major regional differences: South Dakota, for example, had the highest rate in the nation, with 2,227.5 births per 1,000 women, while Washington, D.C., had the lowest with 1,421. Only two states—South Dakota and Utah—had birth rates above replacement levels.

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