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The birth rate across the U.S. varies significantly between states. Why?

A father cradles his newborn baby.
A father cradles his newborn baby.
Photo by nikki mcleod via Flickr Creative Commons

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The birth rate across the United States has been steadily declining, but a new report released today says that fertility rates vary significantly across the country.

According to the report by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, fertility rates are higher in Midwest and Southeast states compared to states in the Northeast and the West Coast. The report breaks down the 2017 data that reveals the lowest birth rate since 1987, sinking well below the replacement level.

We discuss the findings and the possible reason behind the demographic differences


Steven Martin, demographer and senior research associate in the Center on Labor, Human Services and Population at the Urban Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit think tank focusing on economic and social policy.

Georges C. Benjamin, MD,executive director, American Public Health Association, a public health advocacy organization in DC