CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) – Births are declining all across the United States, but the rate of births in West Virginia is declining faster than other states.
Childbirth has been seeing a steady decline since 2016. According to Quotewizard.com, births have declined 7%. In number terms, that means that 350,000 fewer children were born in 2020 than in 2016.
Births declined in every year since 2016 except one: 2021. That’s because the coronavirus pandemic had a unique effect on births. In 2020, during the height of the pandemic, fewer children were born than at any point in the last 36 years.
However, in 2021, births went back up. Childbirth rates increased by nearly 2% between 2020 and 2021.
Overall, the U.S. is still seeing decline. The number of children being born has dropped by nearly 20% in some states. Births are down 10% in West Virginia since 2016. That’s the 8th largest decrease nationwide.
Alaska, Wyoming and New Mexico have seen the steepest declines in childbirths. New Hampshire and Tennessee are the only states where an increase in the number of births has been seen.
The full data on all 50 states can be seen below:
|State||2016 Births||2021 Births||% Change|
Societal trends, the economy and lower infant mortality rates can all affect birth rates. Costs during times of high inflation can also be a prohibitive factor. Because of this, the question of why births are declining is a complicated issue. Alaska has seen the largest decline in childbirths over the last six years; it’s also the most expensive state to have a child in in the entire United states.