Child birth rate in United States declines for fourth straight year
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – According to a report published by the National Center for Health Statistics, the birth rate of children in the United States has dropped for the fourth year in a row.
Medical professionals have speculated that this decline is the result of several causes, but Dr. Jeffery Nemec, an OB-GYN at Medical Center Health in Bowling Green, believes that a change in people’s attitudes towards, and about, babies in this country is a big reason why.
“People are thinking a little bit more about family planning,” said Nemec. “We’re having a lot more couples taking the time to get established, getting their job, getting their house before they take that huge step in starting a family.”
Nemec added that the United States has seen far fewer unplanned pregnancies than in the past, something he attributes to improved levels of education on the matter and better access to contraceptives.
“Physicians are doing a better job providing medical care, getting access to medical care, instructing patients and informing them on the birth control options,” Nemec said. “Combine that with the fact that we have a number of very well tolerated birth control options that are available that people are taking advantage of this.”
There’s also been a large drop in the amount of teenage pregnancies.
Nemec feels that workers in the medical field have played a large role in that decline.
“The fact that we’ve seen a consistent drop in that over the past decade has really shown that the medical profession has done a good job in decreasing the number of patients that are getting pregnant in that age group,” he added. “Providing them better health care, better birth control protection.”
The report showed a 2% decrease in child birth rate between 2017 to 2018.
In 2018, there were 3, 788, 235 babies born in the United States, the lowest number of births in this country in 32 years.
The fertility rate was also reported to be at an all time low.
It’s unclear if, or how long, this decline in birth rate might continue, but Nemec thinks it’s certainly possible that it continues into the foreseeable future as people continue to be more strategic about when to have a child.
“I think just in general for a lot of different things in our lifestyles, people are taking the time to think things through and making better long-term plans,” Nemec said.