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Snitz's breakdown of US births v deaths in 4 charts!

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A Visual Breakdown of America’s Stagnating Number of Births

Births stayed flat in 2022, with numbers down among younger women

By Anthony DeBarros, WSJ

June 1, 2023 12:01 am ET


The government tallied about 655,000 fewer births in 2022 than the 2007 high of 4.32 million.


About 3.66 million babies were born in the U.S. in 2022, essentially unchanged from 2021 and 15% below the peak hit in 2007, according to new federal figures released Thursday.


The provisional total—3,661,220 births—is about 3,000 below 2021’s final count, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. Final government data expected later this year could turn that small deficit positive.


Experts have pointed to a confluence of factors behind the nation’s recent relative dearth of births, including economic and social obstacles ranging from child care to housing affordability.


Absent increases in immigration, fewer births combined with ongoing baby boomer retirements will likely weigh on the labor force supply within the next 10 years, said Kathy Bostjancic, chief economist at Nationwide, an insurance and financial-services company.


“You’re going to have a real shortage of workers unless we have technology somehow to fill the gap,” Bostjancic said.


A look at the trends in charts:


Births stay well off peak

The government tallied about 655,000 fewer births in 2022 than the 2007 high of 4.32 million, reflecting ongoing decreases. With still-elevated deaths due in part to the latter phase of the Covid-19 pandemic, the U.S. in 2022 saw only about 385,000 more births than deaths.




The 2022 total might tick higher when final data is tallied later this year. Final 2021 births were about 5,000 above the provisional number; for 2020, the final tally was about 8,400 greater.


Fertility remains below ‘replacement’ level

The total fertility rate—closely watched because a level of 2.1 children per woman is the “replacement rate” needed for a population to maintain current levels—was 1.665 in 2022. That was essentially unchanged from 1.664 in 2021 and only a slight recovery from a record low in 2020.




The U.S. has generally been below replacement level since the early 1970s.


Hispanic fertility rates climb

The general fertility rate for Hispanic mothers increased 4% in 2022, second only to people of Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander origin. Fertility rates among Asian women rose 3%; rates for all other groups fell.




Hispanic mothers accounted for 25.5% of U.S. births in 2022, a record, while the shares of births from non-Hispanic white and Black women declined. White women accounted for 50.1% of births in 2022, Black women for 13.9%, and Asian women for 6%.


Birthrates continue declining among the young

The trend of decreasing birthrates among younger women continued in 2022. For teens ages 15 to 19, the birthrate fell 3%, and for ages 20 to 24 it was down 2%. The rate for the next oldest group, 25 to 29, edged up only slightly. Increases were mainly seen among women 35 to 44.




If trends continue, the birthrate for women ages 35 to 39 might soon eclipse the rate for ages 20 to 24.


Write to Anthony DeBarros at anthony.debarros@wsj.com

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