Skip to main content

In the Covid-19 Baby Bust Crisis, US Birth Rate Plunged the Most Since the Late 1970s

The Covid-19 baby bust is not only here, it is likely to persist.
  • Author:
  • Publish date:
Generally Speaking Birth Rates

Many Experts Got It Wrong

Economists predicted a baby boom with everyone staying home. 

Brookings called it in advance on June 15, 2020 in Half a million fewer children? The coming COVID baby bust.

The decline in births could be on the order of 300,000 to 500,000 fewer births next year. We base this expectation on lessons drawn from economic studies of fertility behavior, along with data presented here from the Great Recession of 2007-2009 and the 1918 Spanish Flu.

Brookings accurately surmised that social distancing, fewer jobs, concern over money, and sex do not all fit together. 

Baby Bust Results Are In 

IFL describes the Covid-19 Baby Bust.

Nine months after the pandemic was declared, Spain saw a 22.6 percent drop in births. According to the Spanish newspaper El País, there were 13,000 fewer newborns registered in Spain between December 2020 and January 2021 compared to the same period the previous year. A similar picture is emerging in the UK and France.

In the US, data from 29 state health departments found a roughly 7.3 percent decline in births in December 2020 compared to the previous year, CBS News reports. California, the most populous state, reported a 10.2 percent decline in births during December 2020 compared to December 2019, while Hawaii saw a 30.4 percent decline. 

US Birth Rate Lowest in Decades

In a May 2021 report on Births: Provisional Data for 2020, the CDC noted the US birth rate was the lowest in decades. 

IFL commented on the data in Birth Rate In US Falls To Lowest Levels In Decades In Wake Of COVID-19

Last year saw the lowest number of births since 1979. The CDC statistics suggest that there were 3,605,201 births in the US during 2020, down 4 percent from the number in 2019, which was 3,747,540 births. Birth fell across the board with declines being seen in all age groups, ethnicities, and races. 

Similar trends of slipping birth rates during 2020 have been previously noticed elsewhere in the world, including the UK, France, and Spain.  

Once the worst of the pandemic is over, will birth rates spring back? Some experts have predicted that the post-pandemic planet will see a joyous resurgence of socializing, culture, and sexual licentiousness. With this in mind, we might expect to see some positive changes in the birth rate. However, it appears unlikely that this brief celebratory blip will detract from the wider pattern of declining birth rates. In a few decades, the world is set to see the first decline in the global population in centuries. Many places, notably Europe and North America, are already contributing towards this downwards trajectory with birth rates are currently on the fall or remain steady.

Baby Bust Crisis?!

CBS News writes Experts sound the alarm on declining birth rates among younger generations: "It's a crisis"

Scroll to Continue


The U.S. is already below the so-called "replacement level" by some measures, meaning fewer young people to support the country's otherwise aging population.

Myers said of the decline, "That's a crisis."

"We need to have enough working-age people to carry the load of these seniors, who deserve their retirement, they deserve all their entitlements, and they're gonna live out another 30 years," he said. "Nobody in the history of the globe has had so many older people to deal with."

The coronavirus pandemic is also making the problem worse — despite what some people previously thought. 

"We thought, oh, we would see a baby boom. But we just haven't seen it," said Dr. David Jaspan, chair of the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. 

Part Real, Part Imaginary

The crisis is real only because of the poor way Social Security is setup.

People do not fund their own retirements, they fund the retirements of the preceding generations.

Having more babies is hardly the answer, there is already competing demand for too few resources. 

And of course there is the huge concern over global climate change.

As I have noted before, the single worst thing anyone can do in terms of causing carbon demand is to have kids.

All of the climate fearmongers need to look in a mirror and ask themselves whether they have kids or intend to have them.

Broken Models

Meanwhile, we do have a self-made problem of fewer and fewer workers supporting undeserving and ungrateful baby boomers and public unions freeloaders.

We have to get off the existing models of funding other generations as well as the clearly unsustainable public union defined benefit catastrophe that is bankrupting many states.