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Women in the United States continue to have fewer children, and when they do, they are usually in their 30s instead of their 20s. New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show the U.S. fertility rate in 2016 was a historically low 62 births per 1,000 women, down from the 62.5 rate in 2015.

Telling stat: "Birth rates declined to record lows for women in all age groups under 30 years in 2016."

Why it matters: The CDC did not say why the birth rate is declining. But research and surveys have shown several reasons, including wider availability of birth control, personal economic instability from student loans or other debt, women focused on launching a career before starting a family, and a growing acceptance that not everyone wants to have children.

Expand chart
Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

Other interesting data points from the CDC:

  • The CDC estimates the fertility rate in 1960 was about 118 births per 1,000 women, or almost double what it is today.
  • Despite the record low birth rate, more than 3.94 million babies were born in 2016, which was about 37,000 fewer than 2015.
  • The highest birth rate is now among women aged 30-34 at 102.6 births per 1,000 women. Previously, the highest rate had been for women aged 25-29, which fell to 101.9 in 2016.
  • U.S. births by race origin of the mother: 52% white, 23% Hispanic, 14% black, 6% Asian, 1% Native American/native of Alaska, Hawaii or Pacific Islands.

Go deeper

Why migrants are fleeing their homes for the U.S.

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios Photo: Herika Martinez /Getty Images 

Natural disasters in Central America, economic devastation, gang wars, political oppression, and a new administration are all driving the sharp rise in U.S.-Mexico border crossings — a budding crisis for President Biden.

Why it matters: Migration flows are complex and quickly politicized. Biden's policies are likely sending signals that are encouraging the surge — but that's only a small reason it's happening.

Cities' pandemic struggle to balance homelessness and public safety

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Addressing homelessness has taken on new urgency in cities across the country over the past year, as officials grapple with a growing unhoused population and the need to preserve public safety during the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: It’s led to tension when cities move in to clear encampments — often for health and safety reasons — causing some to rethink the role of law enforcement when interacting with people experiencing homelessness.

Biden to sign voting rights order to mark "Bloody Sunday" anniversary

President Biden will sign an executive order today, on the 56th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday," meant to promote voting rights, according to an administration official.

Why it matters: The executive order comes as Democrats face an uphill battle to pass a sweeping election bill meant, in part, to combat a growing number of proposals introduced by Republicans at the state level that would restrict voter access.