US & Canada

US birth rate falls to record low

File photo dated 05/09/10 of a pregnant woman
Preliminary data from 2011 shows the lowest birth rate in 90 years

The US birth rate hit a record low last year, led by the decline in child-bearing among foreign-born women, according to a Pew study.

The overall US birth rate decreased by 8% between 2007-10, and by 6% among US-born women, found the data.

The rate fell sharpest for those hardest hit by the recession: 14% among foreign-born women and 23% among Mexican immigrant women in particular.

The 2011 rate was the lowest since 1920, when such records began.

Previous research by Pew concluded that states with the largest economic downturn from 2007-08, were most likely to have experienced fertility declines.

Foreign and US-born Hispanic women have experienced the largest fall in household wealth since 2007.

But increased access to contraception for Latino women may also be playing a part in the falling birth rate, according to the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health.

Foreign-born mothers continue to give birth to a disproportionate share of the nation's newborns.

Last year there were 3.95 million total US births, according to the preliminary data from Pew Research Center.

The overall US birth rate was 63.2 per 1,000 women of child-bearing age.

It peaked in 1957 during the Baby Boom years, reaching 122.7 per 1,000 women.

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