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US birth rate rises for first time in seven years


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The 2021 U.S. birth rate rose for the first time in seven years, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We’re still not getting back to pre-pandemic levels,” said Dr. Denise Jamieson, chair of gynecology and obstetrics at Emory University School of Medicine.

The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics reviewed 99.94% of birth records recorded in 2021 and found a 1% increase in the birth rate that year compared to 2020.

This is the first increase in the birth rate since 2014. Prior to the 2021 data, birth rates had fallen by an average of 2% each year.

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The data revealed that there were 3.7 million births reported last year, compared to around 3.6 million recorded in 2020. Although the birth rate increased last year, there were still around 86 000 fewer births in 2021 compared to 2019.

The first moments with the baby and the excitement of being a family or parents
(Stock)

Officials believe last year’s rise reflects pregnancy births that were postponed during the uncertain early days of the pandemic. Data shows births declined in January 2021 but rose as the year progressed, said Brady Hamilton, lead author of the new report.

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Birth rates increased for Hispanic and white women, by 1% and 3% respectively. While birth rates for Asian women, Black women, and Native American and Alaska Native women all fell 1% to 4% in 2021.

In particular, teenage birth rates have fallen by 6%, while pregnancies among older women have increased. Data shows that births to women in their early 30s increased by 3%, 5% for women in their late 30s and 3% for women in their early 40s.

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US birth rate rises for first time in seven years

A doctor tends to a pregnant woman during the pandemic (iStock)
(istock)

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“It kind of suggests [that] when we saw the drop in births from 2019 to 2020, probably a lot of births were postponed,” Hamilton said. “People were waiting to see what was going on [with the pandemic] and rates increased in older women because they may have had this child.”

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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