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U.S. Births Fall for Fourth Straight Year

Last year's drop of 1% is actually a lot less than in prior years


In 2011, the U.S. saw just 4 million births, the lowest number since 1998 and the fourth year in a row of declines. Births fell by 1% last year, according to the Associated Press. But the downtrend appears to be leveling off because prior years had seen the decline in the 2% to 3% range.

The weak economy is shouldering some of the blame, with experts speculating that couples are leery about starting or expanding a family with an uncertain economic outlook.

The report, put out by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, showed fewer births across demographic groups. Some facts:

  • Births to single mothers declined 3%
  • Births to Hispanic women dropped 6%
  • Birth rates for women in their early 20s dropped 5%

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