A record number of women in their 40s are having children, official data shows – while the birth rate in younger age groups continues to fall.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that the birth rate for women ages 40 to 44 rose four percent in 2022 from the previous year to a record high.
There was also a 12 percent increase among women aged 45 to 49, the first change in this rate since 2015 and another record level.
Experts say more and more people are putting off starting a family until later in life, instead focusing on their careers, travel and social life at a young age. The rise of technologies such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and egg freezing has also played a role.
The increase in older women is because America’s fertility rate is just under 1.7 births per woman. It hit a record low of 1.6 in 2020, when the pandemic prompted many couples to delay childbearing.
The map above shows the percentage change in the number of births in 2022 compared to the previous year by state. New Mexico, Washington DC and North Dakota saw the largest declines. At the other end of the scale, however, Texas, Florida and Delaware saw the biggest gains
The graph above shows the US fertility rate, or the number of children per woman per year. The IT value is currently 1.7 per woman, and the trend is rising
The graph above shows birth rates by different age groups. It shows that while there has been a decline in the younger age groups, there has been a sustained increase in the older age groups
dr Joshua Goldstein, director of the Population Center at the University of California, Berkeley, told NBC News that the lower birth rates ““That probably means more women will have children if they want to have children.”
He continued, “They had better chances of getting an education, better chances of finding the right partner, and more chances of excelling professionally.”
‘Next-gen size doesn’t matter. It is the contribution that this generation can make. “The fact that women can have children at the ages they want and invest in those children is a positive thing.”
For women aged 40 to 44, the fertility rate was 12.5 births per 1,000 women, while for women in the older age group it was 1.1 per 1,000.
The birth rate for women in their late 30s also increased by two percent to 54.9 per 1,000.
But birth rates continued to decline among women aged 20 to 34 – and hit record lows among those aged 20 to 24.
For teenagers, the rate hit a record low of 13.9 births per 1,000 women in that age group — after falling 8 percent from 2007 to 2021.
Official data showed a total of 3,000 fewer babies were born last year compared to 2021.
According to the CDC report released today, 3.661 million births were recorded in 2022, down nearly 1 percent from the previous year.
This map shows the total number of births by state. States like Texas, California, Florida and New York – the most populous – led the field
This graph shows the average age of women when they give birth to their first child. This percentage continues to rise as more people postpone having a child until later in life
That was a less steep drop from 2019 to 2020, when it was down four percent amid the pandemic.
But it marked a turning point compared to 2020 and 2021, when the birth rate rose by 1 percent – likely among couples who delayed having children.
America’s birth rate has been declining for decades, which experts attribute to the “Instagram” generation putting careers, travel and their social lives ahead of having children.
Others have also raised concerns about the rising cost of living and college debt, which they say leave many feeling financially unable to wait until later in life to start a family.
Health officials cautioned that the data is preliminary, but with more than 99 percent of births counted, it suggests the birth rate is continuing to fall.
dr Phil Levine, an economist at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, told CNN that when women have children later, they tend to have fewer children.
America’s birth rate has been declining for decades as more people put their careers first and say it’s too expensive to have kids now.
In the 19th century, when records began, American women each had about seven children.
But that number has steadily declined in recent years, reaching three per woman in the 20th century and then falling below two in the 2010s — the rate needed to sustain current population numbers.
America’s birth rate fell a whopping 4 percent to its lowest level on record in 2020 amid the Covid pandemic, as many couples delayed having children.
It rebounded 1 percent in 2021 when pandemic restrictions were eased to 3.664 million, but the latest data suggests it’s now trending back into a phase of decline.
In the latest report, data shows that 38 out of 50 states, plus Washington DC, saw births decrease in 2022 compared to the previous year.
The sharpest decline was in New Mexico (eight percent), followed by the District of Columbia (seven percent), North Dakota (five percent), and New Hampshire (four percent).
At the other end of the scale was Texas (up four percent), followed by Florida (also up four percent) and Delaware (up three percent).
Experts have previously warned that the long-term low birth rate could spell economic devastation in America, as the federal government would have to collect more taxes to fund programs like Medicare and Social Security.
dr Melissa Kearney, an economics professor at the University of Maryland, previously told DailyMail.com: “There has been a greater emphasis on spending time building careers.”
“Adults change their attitude towards children.”
“They choose to spend money and time in different ways… [that] come into conflict with upbringing.’
She went on to say that in addition to career development, younger people are also showing more interest in leisure activities and travel than before.
‘[Wanting to travel] “It just conflicts with parenting,” she said.
Many have pointed to the high cost of childcare, college debt for Americans in their early 20s, and other financial constraints due to the declining birthrate.
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