There were assumptions that the lockdown of 2020 in the U.S. would lead to higher rates of birth. It was thought so because all the couples were enclosed in their houses and were spending most of their time together. On the contrary, what actually happened was totally against these assumptions.
Pandemic Brings A Drop In Birth Rate In The U.S.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the birth of newborns has drastically declined, which is known from the data of about half the country, as per the Associated Press analysis.
In the U.S., there was already a decline in the rate of birth for the last ten years due to women delaying maternity and having small families. Before the pandemic, data shows that there has been a decrease of birth every year by less than 1% in the U.S.
The graph showing data about the birth rate of 25 states shows a downward trend in the years 2020 and 2021. This also happened because almost more than half-million Americans died in the pandemic.
The data reflects that the birth rate declined by 4.3% in the span of one year (2019-2020). There was a decline by 8% in the months of December 2020, January, and February 2021 as compared to the same duration of three months in the previous year.
A university professor of population, Columbia, Dr. John Santelli, commented after looking at the AP’s study that during a crisis, it is quite odd that people will think about reproducing.
The AP’s analysis was about data from 20 states to which California was added later. California is known to be the state with the highest population, and it delivered figures reflecting the total number of births, including the visitors that took place in the state.
Facts and figures about the whole of the nation are likely to be shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention towards the end of this year. Experts said that there wouldn’t be much change in the data of the 25 states at the completion of the year as the numbers of births counted initially are close enough to the closing counts.
Hans-Peter Kohler, one of the researchers in the field of fertility and health, working with Pennsylvania University, also remarked about the definite decline in the rates of birth.
Last year in the month of March, it was a different scenario. It was assumed that the couples would make more babies due to spending more time and also finding it difficult to get birth control.
An example of a couple named Bryan and Katie has been shared who made plans to make a baby in the last summer. But COVID-19 came in at that time.
Out of fear, the couple decided to drop their plan of conceiving, as said by Bryan. Again after the 1st wave was gone and infections were less in number, restrictions were decreased; the couple planned to conceive once more. Unfortunately, the cases started rising again.
Katie shared that they decided to put pregnancy on hold for some more time. But by that time, they were late and were already pregnant. Their pregnancy was worrisome because pregnant mothers are prone to a higher risk of getting infected from the virus.
The Health Department of New York reported that the data regarding birth was not available during the outbreak in 2020. The reason for this could be New York being the epicenter of the pandemic.
Most of the babies born in 2020 were conceived in 2019 before the outbreak of COVID-19 in the U.S. Therefore, there is a partial reflection of the figures in the pre-existing descending trend.
Out of 25 states, the birth rate declined in 23 states by December 2020. The exceptional two were Wyoming and Alaska. In January 2021, the downfall in the birth rate was more drastic in many of those 25 states.