August 2, 2022

U.S. Births Drop to Lowest Number in 30 Years: Implications for the Future

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:

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