The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions

Calendar

Splash! Summer guide

HeraldNet Headlines
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Friday, December 6, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

U.S. birth rate may have stopped falling

ATLANTA -- There's more evidence that U.S. births may be leveling off after years of decline.
The number of babies born last year only slipped a little, and preliminary government figures released Friday indicate that trend continued through the first six months of this year.
U.S. births rose after the late 1990s and hit an all-time high of more than 4.3 million in 2007. But then they started dropping each year, and in 2011 the number was as low as it had been in the 1990s.
The decline was widely attributed to the nation's economy. Experts believed that many women or couples who were out of work or had other money problems felt they couldn't afford to start or add to their family.
Last year, the number of babies born -- a little shy of 4 million -- was only a few hundred less than in 2011, which some saw as a signal that the decline may be bottoming out.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest figures show the number of births from July 2012 through last June were essentially the same as the previous 12 months, suggesting the trend is continuing.
"Perhaps it's because the economy -- knock wood -- has bottomed out" and improved, said Gretchen Livingston of the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C. Livingston researches birth trends.
Earlier this week, another CDC report showed a decline not only in women giving birth but in getting pregnant. In 2009, the pregnancy rate dropped to its lowest level in 12 years. Of the nearly 6.4 million estimated pregnancies, about 4.1 million resulted in births, more than 1.1 million ended in abortions and about 1 million were miscarriages. Abortions accounted for 18 percent of pregnancies, down from 24 percent in 2009, said that report's lead author, CDC statistician Sally Curtin.
The highest pregnancy rates have shifted from women in their early 20s to those in their late 20s. That parallels a shift in the average age that women first get married.

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.

HeraldNet highlights

Postcard from camp
Postcard from camp: New conference, new field for the Eagles
Racing and preaching
Racing and preaching: Jeff Knight drives a racecar on Saturday, preaches on Sunday
No challenge too great
No challenge too great: Scholarship fund helps cancer survivor attend college
Generosity lives on
Generosity lives on: How Hazel Miller is still helping others years after her death