24 May 2022, 10:35

Slight rise in US births in 2021 after pandemic plummet

 WASHINGTON, May 24, 2022 (BSS/AFP) - The number of births in the United
States rose slightly in 2021, the first increase in seven years, according to
preliminary data published by authorities Tuesday.

There were 3,659,289 births recorded in 2021, up one percent from 2020, a
report by the National Center for Health Statistics said.

With the exception of 2014, the number of US births has been declining every
year since 2008 -- and fell four percent in 2020 compared to 2019.

The drop in 2020 was accentuated by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the
US Census bureau, and it's possible people who postponed having babies had
them in 2021.

The general fertility rate in 2021 was 1.66 children per woman, again up one
percent from the previous year, which had set an all-time low.

Despite this slight increase, the fertility rate remained well below the rate
necessary for a generation to be replaced (2.1 births per woman), which the
United States has been generally below since 1971 and consistently below
since 2007.

The birth rate for teenagers ages 15 to 19 declined by six percent in 2021 to
14.4 births per 1,000 females.

The rate among this age group has declined by 65 percent since 2007, the most
recent peak, the report said.

The cesarean delivery rate shot up 32.1 percent in 2021.

Rates of C-sections have been rising as more patients request them and more
doctors carry them out for reasons of convenience.

The preterm birth rate rose four percent to 10.5 percent -- the highest level
since 2007.