“The severity of a pandemic, the disparities that continue to exist, as well as the closure of fertility services and a halt in immigration, which contributes greatly to the birth rate, are all factors linked to the significant decline in births, ”Gupta said.
“So it’s not unexpected. The numbers are going down in the United States every year. And clearly, 2020 is six straight years of decline,” he noted. “But before that, the counts were dropping on average by about 50,000 a year, and this report shows about 140,000 fewer births, or nearly three times.”
It wasn’t just the pandemic, he added. “Almost one in four babies is born to an immigrant in this country. And we clearly saw some challenges with that, which would have impacted births,” Gupta explained.
Based on what happened during the 1918 influenza pandemic, Gupta expects the decline in the birth rate to continue, perhaps until 2022. It could take another year or so. two so that people have the confidence to have families, he said.
“If you look at the 1918 pandemic, the birth rate dropped 10% around nine to 10 months after the death rate peaked,” he said. “In one day in February, we had about 5,000 deaths, so we will definitely see fewer births in 2021, and that could happen in 2022.”
If this trend continues, it will have a major social impact as the workforce declines just as older people retire and live longer, according to Dr Jennifer Wu, a obstetrician-gynecologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.
Wu believes the economy is playing a role in lowering the birth rate as couples decide to have fewer children. The desire for education and a career is slow pregnancy for some women, and for others, the need to work makes having a large family problematic.
“The decline in the birth rate has many economic implications, but the decline in the birth rate also has many implications for the Earth in general and climate change,” Wu said. “There are a lot of forces at play, and it’s intimidating to know what’s best for the long haul. “