Births declined in the United States during the pandemic, but it is possible that births declined in March last year as births began to recover, according to a new report released Tuesday by the US Census Bureau.
The decline in births was most pronounced at the end of 2020 and early 2021. The number of births in the United States in December 2020 decreased by 7.7% year-on-year, and in January last year it decreased by 9.4% year-on-year.
February births fell 2.8% year-on-year, but March births fell slightly to just 0.15% compared to March 2020, when the new coronavirus was declared a national emergency. bottom.
“This trend suggests that some people who postponed childbirth last year gave birth this year,” said Anne Morse, a Census Bureau demographer. “The decline in winter births may have been caused by couples who consciously chose to delay childbirth in a pandemic uncertainty. Also, stress and limitations with sexual partners. It may also be affected by the physical interactions that have occurred. “
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in May that the US birth rate fell by 4% last year. This is the largest one-year decline in almost 50 years.
According to the report, it is not only the United States that is experiencing a decline in births, but a slight recovery in early 2021. In 21 of the 30 countries for which monthly data are available, the number of births in December 2020 was lower than in 2019, but the number of births in March 2021 was higher than in March 2020.
Spain had more births in March 2021 than March 2020, and Germany had more births in March 2021 than any other March in the last 20 years. However, the report states that different countries have different seasonal birth cycles. In the United States, births usually increase in spring and peak in summer, but then decline in autumn and lowest in winter.
Given the jerky nature of a pandemic recovery, it is still too early to determine if births are still expected to be positive year-on-year. After all, a baby born in the United States last March may have become pregnant in June 2020, when the spring blockade appears to have been eased. But that optimism soon hit a surge in the summer of 2020.
“It’s too early to come to a rough conclusion about the impact of a pandemic on US fertility,” the report said. “But previous data show that the number of births declined temporarily during the pandemic, after considering other factors that existed before the pandemic: declining births and seasonality. I am. “
Follow Mike Schneider on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MikeSchneiderAP.
Follow the Associated Press report on pandemics at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic.
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Report: The decline in pandemic births may have turned around | WGN Radio 720
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