HEALTH

Utah birth rate on the decline, but still better than average

Jan 10, 2019, 11:24 AM

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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah is known for big families, and that was still true in 2017. The Beehive State was one of only two states that had a birth rate above so-called replacement rates, meaning there are enough births to maintain the current population.

The Centers for Disease Control says South Dakota was the only one with more births, at 2.2 children per woman compared to 2.1 for Utah.

But what’s behind the changing birth rate? Immigration is being partially credited as Hispanic women have the most kids, followed by whites.

Utah’s birth rate has been steadily decreasing, with 2017’s rates the lowest in a decade.

Demographers say falling fertility rates could pose a problem; they say there won’t be enough people to care for the elderly if the decline continues.

Nationwide, the current birth rate is considered to be below the number necessary to keep population numbers where they are now. Utah and South Dakota were the only two states with birth rates high enough to sustain population growth.

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Utah birth rate on the decline, but still better than average