Birth and fertility rates in the United States dropped to record lows again last year, according to provisional data in a new report published Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The number of U.S. births in 2020 fell 4% from 2019, the lowest level since 1979. The figure is double the average annual rate of decline of 2% since 2014 and marks the sixth consecutive year that the number of births have dropped, according to the report.
Both the general and total fertility rates in 2020 also declined 4% from 2019, reaching record lows for the nation. Last year's total fertility rate "was again below replacement -- the level at which a given generation can exactly replace itself," meaning there are more people dying every day than are being born, the report said.
Birth rates dropped for women in nearly all age groups and of every major race and ethnicity: 8% for Asian Americans, 6% for Native Americans and Alaska Natives, 4% for whites and Blacks, and 4% for Hispanics. General fertility rates fell 9% for Asian Americans, 7% for American Indians or Alaska Natives, 4% for Blacks, whites and Hispanics, and 3% for Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, according to the report.