Pandemic ‘Baby Boom’ Was a Bust in NH and Half of the Country
Forget about that "baby boom" resulting from stay at home orders last year. New Hampshire and 24 other states had more people who died than were born in 2020.
Kenneth Johnson is a senior demographer at the Carsey School of Public Policy and a professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire. He has analyzed the research from the National Center for Health Statistics, which shows births in the United States were down by four percent last year.
That's 3,605,000 babies born in 2020.
Johnson says fertility declined sharply in late 2020 because women delayed pregnancies as the pandemic spread. There were eight percent fewer births in December of 2020 than in December of 2019.
At the same time, COVID-19 contributed to a record number of deaths in the country last year. A total of 3,376,000 deaths were reported, which is part of the reason half of the states had more deaths than births.
New Hampshire is one of the five states which had more deaths than births prior to the pandemic, and this trend continued in 2020, Johnson said.
"New Hampshire's population is well educated. It's largely white. It is, on average, older. Those are all factors that tend to affect fertility," Johnson said.
Johnson said since many families move to New Hampshire, there are typically more children enrolled in first grade than were born six years prior, so this helps to offset some of the disparities the state has when compared to other, more fertile, areas of the country.
According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, New Hampshire averages 48.2 births per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44 years old.
Contact Managing News Editor Kimberley Haas at Kimberley.Haas@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @KimberleyHaas.
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