US birth rate falls to record low after pandemic bump

April 25, 2024

The U.S. birth rate fell to a record low after seeing a bump during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday. 

The provisional number of births in 2023 was 3,591,328, a 2 percent drop from the previous year, which saw 3,667,758 births. 

“Last year, the difference was very small. This year, it’s something on the order of 74,000 or thereabouts. So it’s fairly large,” CDC report author Brady Hamilton told CBS News.

The birth rate declined by significant margins for some ethnic and racial groups. 

The number declined by five percent for American Indian and Alaska Native women from 2022 to 2023. For Black women, the drop was four percent.

White women had a three percent drop while Asian women had a two percent drop, while Hispanic women had a one percent increase in births.

The new data showed the total fertility rate dropping two percent from 2022. Birth rates for females in the 15-19 and 35–39 declined in 2023. 

The report found that the cesarean delivery rate had an uptick to 32.4 percent in 2023. It represented a slight increase from the 32.1 points in 2022. The cesarean delivery increased with Asian, Hispanic and White women, but was the highest among Black mothers with 37 percent, a 0.2 increase from the previous year.