Americans Aren’t Making Enough Babies to Replace Ourselves


Fertility rates are at their lowest, ultimately meaning Americans aren’t making enough babies for the population to replace itself, according to a new government report released Thursday. 

The U.S. marked its seventh years in a row of declining fertility rates in 2017, which dropped to 1,765.5 births per 1,000 women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That’s about 16 percent below the number needed — 2,100 births per 1,000 women — for the population to reduce itself, according to U.S. News & World Report.

The 2017 statistics are down from:

  • 1,820.5 in 2016
  • 1,843.5 in 2015
  • 1,862.5 in 2014

The annual CDC report broke down the number of births per state and race.

South Dakota and Utah had rates above the number needed for a stable population, while the District of Columbia had the lowest. 

Hispanics had the most babies in 2017 — 2,006.5 per 1,000 women — while white women had the fewest at a rate of 1,666.5.

The report does not give specific reasons behind the decreasing birth rates, but experts say a combination of economic changes, access to contraception, and better sex education may have led to the drop in babies born to teen moms.

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