Declining U.S. Births

As people marry later and have fewer kids, the number of births per month has been decreasing over the past decade. The pandemic seemed to speed up the process at first, but then jumped back up based on provisional data from the CDC.

CHANGE IN LIVE BIRTH COUNT SINCE 2003

In November 2007, births peaked relatively at 353,660, which was 10% higher than during the same month in 2003.

FROM 2004 TO 2021

LIVE BIRTHS

+10%

COMPARED TO

MONTHLY COUNTS IN 2003

MORE BIRTHS

+5%

This baseline represents equal number of births to 2003 monthly counts.

0%

June 2021 births show a possible rise.

-5%

FEWER BIRTHS

-10%

Births have been going down for the past decade, but the pandemic pushed it down faster. Births in January 2021 were 16% lower than in 2003.

-15%

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

Data for 2021 is provisional. The counts these % changes are based on were rounded to the nearest thousand.

SOURCE: CDC NATIONAL CENTER FOR HEALTH STATISTICS / MADE BY: FLOWINGDATA

FROM 2004 TO 2021

LIVE BIRTHS

COMPARED TO

MONTHLY COUNTS IN 2003

CHANGE IN LIVE BIRTH COUNT SINCE 2003

-15%

-10%

-5%

0%

+5%

+10%

2004

FEWER BIRTHS

MORE BIRTHS

2005

2006

2007

2008

In Nov. 2007, births peaked relatively at 353,660, which was 10% higher than during the same month in 2003.

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

This baseline represents equal number of births to 2003 monthly counts.

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Births were going down for the past decade, but the pandemic pushed it down faster. Births in Jan. 2021 were 16% lower than in 2003.

2019

2020

2021

June 2021 births show a possible rise.

SOURCE: CDC NATIONAL CENTER FOR HEALTH STATISTICS

MADE BY: FLOWINGDATA

Instead of using absolute counts per month, this baseline chart uses 2003 as the reference, which is the earliest the CDC currently provides monthly data through their WONDER database. Each point on the line shows the percentage difference in a given month compared to the corresponding month in 2003.

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