Jeff Fuentes Gleghorn
The United States fertility rate increased by 1 percent from 2020 to 2021, according to new numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is the first time fertility rates have increased since 2014. From 2014-2019, fertility rates dropped at a steady pace, but in 2020 the fertility rate plummeted 4 percent, double the average. According to a study by Brookings, the drop in fertility rates is connected to both the number of COVID19 cases and to the unemployment rate. In areas with more COVID19 cases and higher unemployment, fewer babies were born. Brookings researchers also found that fertility rates returned to pre-pandemic trends by March of 2021, suggesting that by June of 2020 people were more confident that the COVID19 pandemic would end within a year.
Another notable change is that birth rates for teenagers aged 15-19 fell a further 6 percent in 2021 when compared to 2020, setting a new record low. For that to happen in the same year that fertility rates increased is important for future trends.
Michigan had a fertility rate of 55.6 children per 1000 women in 2020, the most recent year that state numbers are available. This is lower than the national average of 56 in 2020. However, the 2020 teen birth rate in Michigan was only 13.5 per 1000 girls, compared to the national average of 15.4.