U.S. Births Are on the Rise Again After Depths of Covid Crisis
(Bloomberg) -- Births have bottomed out in some U.S. states earlier this year, suggesting Americans were more optimistic about starting a family after the depths of the pandemic in 2020.
The number of births in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Ohio and Oregon hit their lowest since at least 2018 around February -- reflecting the drop in babies conceived during the worst of lockdown restrictions last April and May, according to state health departments.
The recovery these states have since experienced signal that the nation may have bounced back from the worst of the pandemic in a matter of months, meaning the Covid-19 crisis had a limited impact on longer-term birth trends.
Births have seasonal patterns throughout the year, typically at the highest in August-September and the lowest in April-May.
Arizona, Connecticut and Florida have rebounded to levels not seen in two or three years in recent months. Many states, including highly populated ones like New York and New Jersey, have yet to report their data.
Births have generally been declining since the Great Recession as Americans have been getting married later and putting off having kids. That grew more pronounced during the pandemic, when people feared going to hospitals and lacked nearby family support due to social-distancing restrictions.
The latest national data is from March 2021. By that time, the number of daily births roughly matched the March 2020 level, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The rebound suggests that some people who postponed having babies last year had them this year.
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