Category: Birth Rates

Resource Category Topic Type
Data Snapshot: New Data Show U.S. Birth Rate Hits Record Low
New data from the National Center for Health Statistics show a record low birth rate in the United States. In 2016, I estimate there were 600,000 fewer births in the United States than would have been expected had pre-recessionary birth rates continued. And, there is no evidence in these new data that this birth dearth is diminishing.
Demography Birth Rates, Demography Publication
Behind at the Starting Line
Hispanics are driving U.S. population growth. Representing just 16 percent of the U.S. population in 2010, Hispanics accounted for the majority of U.S. population growth over the past decade. The current emphasis on immigration in public discourse and policy reflects the commonplace assumption that Hispanic population growth is driven largely by new immigration. Yet, most Hispanic growth today is due to Hispanic births, not immigration.1 Fertility represents a large second-order effect of past and current immigration. The often unappreciated impact of U.S.-born Hispanic infants on population growth raises an important policy question: Do Hispanic infants start life’s race behind the starting line, poor and disadvantaged? The question of whether Hispanic infants start life at an economic disadvantage has broad policy implications. Poverty at birth threatens childhood development trajectories, later academic achievement, transitions to productive adult roles, and, ultimately, incorporation into the economic, social, and political mainstream.2 Nor is this just a highly localized concern in a few traditional Hispanic settlement areas, because Hispanics are now widely distributed geographically. America’s Hispanic population has dispersed from established gateways in the Southwest and a few large urban cores to new destinations throughout the Southeast, the Pacific Northwest, and the agricultural heartland.3 Most Hispanics continue to reside in metropolitan areas, where they accounted for nearly 55 percent of recent population gains. Yet, Hispanic growth has had even greater impacts in rural America. A burgeoning Hispanic population accounted for two-thirds of the rural population gain, though Hispanics represented less than 7 percent of the population in 2010. In many rural areas, Hispanics provide a demographic lifeline to dying small towns. Births account for a growing share of the Hispanic population increase: nearly 25 percent of all U.S. births are now to Hispanics. Our focus here is on the question of how many Hispanic infants begin their lives in poverty. In our previous research, we demonstrated that the growing proportion of U.S. births that are Hispanic is causing America to become more diverse from youngest to oldest.4 Diversity as well as economic incorporation are occurring from the “bottom up”—beginning with infants and children. Here we examine the comparative economic circumstances of Hispanics but, unlike previous studies, we place the emphasis squarely on infants. The period in utero and during early infancy is especially critical for brain development and later cognitive, emotional, and physical outcomes. Poor infants also face clear developmental disadvantages that persist into adulthood.5 In the absence of upward socioeconomic mobility, childhood poverty contributes to poverty in adulthood, a statistical fact that will take on special significance if intergenerational mobility declines and inequality grows.6
Vulnerable Families Research Program Birth Rates, Children, Demography, Hispanics Publication
Data Snapshot: 2.1 Million More Childless U.S. Women Than Anticipated
In 2016, there were 2.1 million more childless women of prime child-bearing age than anticipated. The 19.5 million women age 20–39 in 2016 who had never given birth was 12 percent more than demographers would have expected given child-bearing patterns just before the Great Recession. In 2016, there were 7 percent more women 20–39 than ten years earlier, but 22 percent more who had never had a child.
Demography Birth Rates, Demography Publication
Data Snapshot: Hispanic Population of Child-Bearing Age Grows, but Births Diminish
The U.S. population grew by just 0.62 percent last year, the smallest rate of increase in eighty years. Future growth now depends on minority population gains, because the white population is no longer growing.
Demography Birth Rates, Demography, Hispanics Publication
Data Snapshot: Ten Years After the Great Recession Began, U.S. Birth Rate Is at Record Low
Recent National Center for Health Statistics data show a record low birth rate in the United States, and no evidence of any upturn in this birth rate. Though other social and economic factors may also be influencing U.S. birth rates, the impact of the Great Recession persists. I estimate that in 2017, there were 700,000 fewer births in the United States than would have been expected had pre-recessionary birth rates continued among current women of childbearing age.
Demography Birth Rates, Demography Publication
Data Snapshot: U.S. Population Growth Continues to Slow Due to Fewer Births and More Deaths
The U.S. population grew by just 2,020,000 or 0.62 percent between July 2017 and July 2018 according to recent Census Bureau estimates. This is the lowest population growth rate since 1937.
Demography Birth Rates, Demography Publication
Deaths Exceed Births in Most of Europe, But Not in the United States
With the increased attention to Europe’s demographic future stimulated by the on-going immigration crisis, we present important new findings about the diminishing number of births compared to deaths in Europe and the United States from our recent article in Population and Development Review. When births fail to keep pace with deaths in a country there is a “natural” decrease in population and a substantial risk of population loss—loss that can often only be avoided by increased migration. Seventeen European nations have more people dying in them than being born, including several of Europe’s most populous countries. In contrast, in the United States, births exceed deaths by a substantial margin. See Figure 1. Our research focuses on the prevalence and dynamics of natural decrease in subareas of Europe and the United States in the first decade of the twenty-first century using counties (United States) or county-equivalents (Europe). We find that 58 percent of the 1,391 counties of Europe had more deaths than births during that period compared to just 28 percent of the 3,137 U.S. counties. Natural decrease is often intermittent at first with deaths exceeding births in some years, but not in others. Later, it becomes more persistent. In Europe, 41 percent of the counties had more deaths than births in every year we studied; 30 percent had it in some years; and in 29 percent births always exceeded deaths. Natural decrease was far less prevalent in the United States, where 11 percent of the counties had natural decrease in each year; 35 percent in some years; and in the majority of counties (53 percent) births always exceeded deaths. See Figure 2.
Demography Birth Rates, Demography, Mortality Publication
Deaths Exceed Births in Record Number of U.S. Counties
In this fact sheet, author Kenneth Johnson examines new data released by the Census Bureau which provide insights into the continuing influence of the Great Recession on U.S. demographic trends. He reports that, for the first time in U.S. history, deaths exceeded births in two entire states: Maine and West Virginia, and a record 36 percent of all U.S.
Demography Birth Rates, Demography, Mortality, Seniors Publication
Demographic Trends in the Manchester-Nashua Metropolitan Area
In the city of Manchester, New Hampshire, 25 percent of children live below the poverty line, a high rate that is in stark contrast to the state's rate of just 10 percent, one of the nation's lowest. That is the most surprising finding from this new analysis of demographic trends in the Manchester-Nashua metropolitan area. The brief presents recent demographic shifts in Manchester, Nashua, and suburban Hillsborough County alongside historical perspectives of the region.
Demography, New Hampshire Birth Rates, Demography, Migration, New Hampshire, Poverty Publication
Diversity Growing Because Births Far Exceed Deaths Among Minorities, But Not Among Whites
The growing diversity of the U.S. population evident in new Census Bureau estimates reflects two important demographic trends. The minority population is growing and the non-Hispanic white population is not. This interplay of white and minority population change is fueling the growing diversity of the U.S. population. The minority population is growing both because births far exceed deaths and because there is significant immigration. In contrast, growth has been minimal among the non-Hispanic white population because aging has reduced births and increased deaths. The distinctly different demographic trajectories among whites and minorities are driven by the interaction of several key demographic forces. Natural increase (births to deaths) is the major force behind the growing diversity of the U.S. population, though immigration remains important. Although the pace of U.S. population growth is slowing because of the lingering impact of the Great Recession and the aging of the population, the population continues to become more diverse. This will produce a rich tapestry of demographic change in the United States over the next several decades. The importance of natural increase to the growing diversity of the U.S. population is clearly evident among non-Hispanic whites. Currently, whites account for 78 percent of all U.S. deaths, but less than 50 percent of births. In each of last three years, more non-Hispanic whites died than were born. Such natural decrease is without precedent in U.S. history. Between July of 2013 and July of 2014, there were 2,036,000 non-Hispanic white deaths, but only 1,975,000 births. So, deaths exceeded births by 62,000. This gap is wider than last year, when there were 1,980,000 non-Hispanic white births compared to 2,007,000 deaths: a difference of 27,000. The non-Hispanic white population did increase slightly each year, but only because of immigration. The immigration gain was 155,000 between July of 2013 and 2014. So, the non-Hispanic white population grew by just 94,000 (.04 percent). Ironically, non-Hispanic whites are now more dependent on immigration for population increase than any other group. Though non-Hispanic white natural increase may occur again as fertility rates recover from the economic downturn, it is likely to be short-lived because the population is aging rapidly.
Demography Birth Rates, Demography, Mortality Publication
Domestic Migration and Fewer Births Reshaping America
New Census Bureau data released on March 22, 2018, demonstrate the continuing influence of domestic migration on U.S. demographic trends. Migration patterns are reverting to those common before the recession. Suburban counties of large metropolitan areas, smaller metropolitan areas, and rural counties proximate to metropolitan areas all gained more domestic migrants in the last year. In contrast, domestic migration losses grew in the core counties of metropolitan areas of 1 million or more and remained substantial in rural counties that are not adjacent to an urban area.
Demography Birth Rates, Demography, Migration Publication
Migration Trends Shifted in 2014
In this fact sheet, author Ken Johnson reports on new Census Bureau data released on March 26, 2015. The data provide further evidence that the recession’s influence on domestic migration is diminishing. Migration patterns are reverting to those commonly seen before the recession. Suburban counties of large metropolitan areas are receiving more domestic migrants, while large metropolitan core counties are seeing more domestic migration losses. Domestic migration losses also continue in rural areas. There is no evidence in these new Census data of any recovery in fertility. Births remain near 15-year lows, and there were a record number of deaths last year.
Demography Birth Rates, Demography, Migration Publication
Natural Decrease in America: More Coffins than Cradles
This brief summarizes recent regional patterns of natural decrease in the United States. Natural decrease occurs when more deaths than births occur in an area in a given year. The growing incidence of natural decrease has gone largely unnoticed, yet natural decrease is no longer an isolated phenomenon occurring in a few remote corners of the country. Last year, 24 percent of all U.S. counties experienced natural decrease. And, for the first time in U.S. history, deaths now exceed births in an entire state. Author Ken Johnson discusses the implications of natural decrease, as well as the impact of the recent influx of immigrants in some regions of rural and urban America—a phenomenon that is impacting natural increase.
Demography Birth Rates, Demography, Mortality Publication
New Population Projections Reflect Slower Growth and Increasing Diversity
Two important demographic trends are reflected in newly released Census Bureau projections. The pace of U.S. population growth is slowing, and the population continues to become more diverse. These trends reflect distinctly different demographic trajectories among whites and minorities driven by the interaction of several key demographic forces. This will produce a rich tapestry of demographic change in the United States over the next several decades.
Demography Birth Rates, Children, Demography, Hispanics Publication
Population Growth in New Hispanic Destinations
Natural increase—more births than deaths—is now the major engine of Hispanic population growth in many large metro areas and their suburbs, as well as numerous smaller metropolitan areas and rural communities. Hispanics now account for half of U.S. population growth, and Hispanic population growth is the reason many communities grew instead of declined.
Demography Birth Rates, Demography, Hispanics, Mortality, Race, Rural, Urban Publication
The Changing Faces of America's Children and Youth
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates indicate that between July 2008 and July 2009, 48.6 percent of the 4 million children born in the United States were minorities. In contrast, nearly 60 percent of the children born ten years ago were non-Hispanic white. This rapid change demonstrates that America's youth are at the forefront of the country's rapidly shifting demographic makeup. This brief reveals the factors causing this increase in the proportion of minority births.
Demography, Vulnerable Families Research Program Birth Rates, Children, Demography, Young Adults Publication
The Changing Faces of New England
New England is growing more slowly than the rest of the nation. The region is becoming more racially diverse, and demographic trends contrast sharply between northern and southern New England and metropolitan and rural areas. New England's population stood at 14,270,000 in July 2006, marking a gain of just 2.5 percent since 2000, less than half the national rate.
Demography, New Hampshire Birth Rates, Demography, Immigration, Migration, Mortality, New England, Race Publication
The Changing Faces of New Hampshire
New Hampshire, with a total population of 1.3 million, gained 79,000 residents between 2000 and 2006. Most of this growth - 51,000 residents - came from migration. The migration also brought economic gains: New Hampshire gained at least $1.4 billion in income from migration between 2001 and 2005, and households moving in earned nearly $9,000 more than those leaving.
Demography, New Hampshire Birth Rates, Demography, Hispanics, Migration, New England, New Hampshire Publication
The Hidden Cost of the Recession: Two Million Fewer Births and Still Counting
The Great Recession sent an economic shock through American society that reached far beyond the stock and housing markets, including the substantial long-term impact the Great Recession is having on U.S. births. Nearly 2.3 million fewer babies were born in the United States between 2008 and 2013 than would have been expected if pre-recession fertility rates had been sustained (see Figure 1). In each of the last three years, this birth deficit has resulted in nearly 500,000 fewer births.
Demography Birth Rates, Demography Publication
The Increasing Diversity of America's Youth
This brief documents how unfolding demographic forces have placed today’s children and youth at the forefront of America’s new racial and ethnic diversity. Authors Kenneth M. Johnson, Andrew Schaefer, Daniel T. Lichter, and Luke T.
Demography Birth Rates, Children, Demography, Hispanics Publication