The trend of declining birth rates in America stopped in 2021, though the increase recorded was minimal, according to data revealed Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
There were 3,659,289 births recorded in 2021, a one percent increase from the 3,613,647 in 2020. The 2020 figure was a two percent drop from the 3,747,540 a year earlier.
While a one percent increase is not particularly significant, it does help reverse a trend of lowering birth rates suffered by the U.S. and many other western nations in recent years.
It also signals that the COVID-19 pandemic may have played a role in birth rates — with many children who were conceived during lockdowns in 2020 having been born in 2020.
White and Hispanic Americans both recorded increases in births from 2020 to 2021, with the latter in particular having a limited drop over the past two years despite sharp declines among other ethnic groups.
The data for the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics showed birth rates from 2019, 2020 and 2021 across racial groups and in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
White Americans make up just over half of births in the U.S., with nearly 1.9 million of the 3.7 million coming from the group.
The next largest group was Hispanics — at 0.8 million births in 2020.
They were also both the only ethnic groups that recorded increases in birth rates from 2020 to 2021 — both slightly increasing by two percent year-to-year.
Asian Americans and Native Americans both suffered sharp declines in from 2019 to 2021, making up a massive portion of the losses over the two year period at 11 percent and nine percent respectively.
Black Americans have seen declining birth rates as well, falling six percent from 2019 to 2021.
Changes across different states have varied widely as well. Not a single U.S. state recorded an increase in birth from 2019 to 2020 — with the no change recorded in New Hampshire being the highest mark of any state.
Some states experienced sharp individual declines in birth rates during the pandemic’s first year.
In Wyoming, the number of birth from 2019 to 2020 dropped by seven percent, the most of any state.
California and New York — two of America’s most populous states that have had well documented declines in population in recent years — both had their birth figures fall six percent between those years as well.
Hawaii also recorded a six percent drop from 2019 to 2020.
Florida, Illinois, New Mexico and Oregon each recorded five percent declines after the turn of the decade as well.
Things began to turn upwards in 2021, though. While reports of a pandemic-caused baby boom may have never truly come to fruition, it is clear some change happened to cause a sudden reversal in birth trends.
Only seven U.S. states recorded a decreasing birth rate from 2020 to 2021. With lockdowns in America starting in March — nearly every single child that would have been conceived during strict Covid mandates was born in 2021.
Northeastern states — many of which had the strictest Covid mandates that lasted the longest — experienced the biggest jump in births.
Connecticut and New Hampshire led the way, recording seven percent increases each.
Nearby Vermont also recorded a five percent increase in year-to-year birth rate from 2020 to 2021.
Maine and Massachusetts — also in New England — each recorded four percent increases in birth rates in 2021. Just south of the pair is New Jersey, which had the same figure.
Also recording four percent increases were Idaho, Montana, South Dakota and Tennessee.