Provisional data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the birth rate in the United States ticked up slightly in 2021. It is the first time since 2014 that the birth rate has increased in the U.S.
Over 3.6 million babies were born in 2021, marking a 1% increase from 2020.
The number of births is still below pre-pandemic levels. The birth rate has been declining by an average of 2% every year since 2014 but plummeted by 4% in 2020 as many people delayed their decision to have children amidst the pandemic.
“That sort of suggests [that] when we saw the decline in births from 2019 to 2020, probably a lot of births were postponed,” Dr. Brady Hamilton, from the NCHS Division of Vital Statistics, told ABC News. “People were waiting to see what happened [with the pandemic], and rates rose in older women as they may have proceeded to have that child.”
Birth rates rose for all age groups 25 and up, though the teenage birth rate fell to a record low of about 14 births for every 1,000 women between the ages of 15 to 19.