U.S. Birth Rate Lowest in 32 Years

May 16, 2019 -- The U.S. birth rate fell for the fourth year in a row last year and was at its lowest since 1986, according to a government report.

It said there were 3.8 million births last year, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

Birth rates for teens and women in their 20s were at record lows last year, while women in their late 30s and those in their early 40s had slightly higher birth rates in 2018 than in 2017.

The fertility rate in 2018 was 1.7 births per woman, a 2% decline from 2017. That rate means the current generation isn't producing enough children to replace itself, the AP reported.

There were small declines in births among Hispanics, whites, blacks and Asians, while births among native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders remained stable.

Some experts believe the United States will have labor shortages if current birth trends continue, while others say today's young women will catch up on having children later in their lives, the AP reported.

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