In 2020, the U.S. Birthcount Hit a 30-year Low: Implications for the Future

Posted August 2, 2022
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Updates births 2022

Accord­ing to recent­ly updat­ed data in the KIDS COUNT® Data Cen­ter, the total num­ber of births in Amer­i­ca has been on the decline, drop­ping to 3,613,647 births in 2020 — the low­est num­ber in three decades. Birth rates have also declined in recent years as part of larg­er demo­graph­ic trends relat­ed to delays in the age of mar­riage and child­bear­ing, among oth­er factors.

Why Is The Birth Rate Important?

As chil­dren com­prise a shrink­ing share of the U.S. pop­u­la­tion while the aging pop­u­la­tion con­tin­ues to swell, the nation will be increas­ing­ly reliant on a small­er group of young peo­ple to meet future work­force demands and to sup­port the Social Secu­ri­ty and Medicare needs of seniors. Now more than ever, chil­dren and youth are crit­i­cal assets for America’s future, and it is vital to invest in pro­grams and poli­cies to help them reach their full potential.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, deep racial and eth­nic inequities per­sist nation­wide, with chil­dren of col­or more like­ly to have poor health, eco­nom­ic and edu­ca­tion out­comes. Giv­en the grow­ing diver­si­ty of the U.S. child pop­u­la­tion com­pared to the adult pop­u­la­tion, chil­dren of col­or will become the major­i­ty of our nation’s future work­force — by 2050, only 39% of chil­dren are pro­ject­ed to be white. Lead­ers must pri­or­i­tize end­ing racial and eth­nic inequities so that all young peo­ple can thrive.

Oth­er Key Find­ings from the Lat­est U.S Births Data:

Access More Data on Births and Stay Connected

See addi­tion­al indi­ca­tors on births and birth out­comes in the KIDS COUNT Data Cen­ter. The Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion also offers a wide range of resources to pro­mote the well-being of vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren, youth and fam­i­lies. A few exam­ples include:

Sign up for our newslet­ters to get the lat­est data and oth­er resources.

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