Each year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) releases reports containing a variety of statistics. Among these statistics is the country’s birth rate, which is at an all-time low, according to the CDC’s most recent report.
Published early this month in the academic journal Pediatrics, this year’s birth rate metrics have sparked concern across the nation. By itself, the numbers do seem alarming, but when examined as a whole rather just a piece of the puzzle, they make more sense. The trend of attended college and focusing on one’s career means fewer babies being born each year.
Originally published by the CDC in January, the statistics revealed that a mere 3.9 million babies were born in 2013, a decrease of roughly 20,000 from figures recorded in 2012. Birth rates have been consistently falling since 2007, though the numbers haven’t been dropping as fast since 2010, according to the CDC’s report. Generally speaking, the current fertility rate for U.S. women is roughly 62.5 births for every 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44.
In addition to a decreasing birth rate, there’s another trend that’s making news. The CDC’s report also revealed that people are choosing to have children later in life. While women are most fertile between the ages of 20 and 24, the CDC’s report claims that the rate of births among this age grouped has dropped 23% since 2007. The study states, “[birth] rates declined for all women under age 30 in 2013 from 2012, rose for women aged 30–39 and 45–49, and were unchanged for women aged 40–44.”
While the country’s birth rate as a whole is decreasing as people are postponing having children, one state was having more bundles of joy per capita at the end of 2012 than any other. That state is Utah. While most states typically have per capita birth rates that fall between 11-14 babies per 1,000 people, Utah takes the lead at close to 18.
In fact, Utah’s entire population is growing. According to U.S. Census data scheduled for release this week, the state’s population jumped by more than 40,000 people, or nearly 1.4 percent, in just one year from July 2013 to July 2014.