From the Wall Street Journal:
American women had babies at record-low rates last year and pushed U.S. births down to their smallest total in 35 years, according to federal figures released Wednesday. About 3.75 million babies were born in the U.S. in 2019, down 1% from the prior year, provisional figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics showed.
According to the government document, births to white women were down over 2% from 1,956,413 in 2018 to 1,914,141 in 2019.
… The data are the latest sign of how American childbearing, which began declining during the 2007-09 recession, never fully rebounded when the economy bounced back. Millennials have been slower to form families than previous generations, in part, economists say, because they are less financially secure than those before them.
… Teen- agers saw the sharpest drop, with a 5% decline in their birthrate. Since peaking in 1991, the teen birthrate has fallen 73%.
The federal government has a program to discourage teen births. It worked.
The total fertility rate—a snapshot of the average number of babies a woman would have over her lifetime—ticked down to 1.7 in 2019, a slight decline from the previous year and another record low. …
Brady Hamilton, a statistician who co-wrote the new report, said an uptick in births among women in their 40s is a sign that some births are just being delayed. “Women are still having children,” he said. “They’re just holding off until a later point in time until they establish their education and establish their career.”
A leveling-off of births among Hispanic women, who account for nearly a quarter of U.S. births, is also driving the overall decline. They had about 885,900 babies last year, down slightly from 2018.
But that was down only imperceptibly from 886,210 in 2018. The bigger driver of the national decline was the decline in the number of births to white women.
And this was during the late, lamented economic good times.