Jun 1, 2021 - News

Birth rate falls in Colorado again, reflecting national trend

The number of births in Colorado have fallen for the 10th straight year, state health department data shows.

By the numbers: The fertility rate here dropped to 51.2 births per 1,000 women ages 15-44 last year — the lowest level recorded in at least the last decade.

Why it matters: The baby slump in Colorado reflects a broader trend playing out nationally, Axios’ Marisa Fernandez reports.

  • The birth rate in the U.S. dropped by 4% last year compared to 2019, the lowest it's been in nearly 50 years, according to provisional data from the National Center for Health Statistics.

What they're saying: Recent downward trends are attributable, in part, to increased access to and use of long-acting reversible contraceptives and a shift in reproductive patterns, including delaying childbirth until later in life and having fewer children, state health department spokesperson Kirk Bol tells Alayna.

  • Income and other socio-economic factors also likely play a role, he said.

Between the lines: The data corroborates previous surveys that predicted a "COVID baby bust," with women reporting they were postponing pregnancy and having fewer children, as well as surveys indicating less sexual activity overall.

The big picture: Fertility rates in the U.S. and around the world have been falling for years as women in developed countries have gained more freedoms, received more education, and in some cases, gotten increased access to birth control.

The kicker: For the second consecutive year, Liam and Olivia topped the list for baby names in Colorado, federal data shows.

Data: Social Security Administration. Chart: John Frank/Axios

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