U.S. birth rate increases for first time in years

May 24, 2022, 7:00 PM | Updated: 9:39 pm
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The number of births in the U.S. is on the rise for the first time since 2014. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images.)
(Photo courtesy of Getty Images.)

SALT LAKE CITY — The U.S. birth rate is on the rise for the first time since 2014. 

The rate has been on a steady decline for the past decade. And it took a big 4% plunge at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.

U.S. birth rate increasing

But now the rate increased by 1% in 2021, according to newly released CDC data.

Emily Harris, senior demographer at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, said the rise and fall of birth rates is pretty normal. 

“We’ve been watching and waiting for the last few years wondering how low can it go,” Harris said. “And it looks like at least for this last year, we’re kind of having a little reprieve from the kind of doomsday, fertility is going to decline forever into the future.” 

Harris said the numbers seem to show more people are putting off having kids until later in life.

The rate increased over all age groups over 25. But it continued to fall for women aged 15-24 and stayed the same for ages 10-14.

“We’re starting to see people having more children as we’re getting into the older age groups,” Harris said. “Rather than starting earlier, we’re tending to start a little later than we did before.”

Harris added that Utah’s birth rate has also been on the decline in recent years. But Utah won’t get data on 2021 until later this year or early next year. 

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U.S. birth rate increases for first time in years