COVID-19 pandemic could cause low birth rate to decline further

Crystal Bui
Updated: November 18, 2020 06:27 PM
Created: November 18, 2020 05:42 PM

The birth rates in the country have been on a steady decline for generations, and the COVID-19 public health crisis isn’t helping.

“I suspect in 2021, we’re going to have a much lower fertility rate, in terms of births we see compared to the general population than we did in 2019 and 2020,” said Janna Johnson, University of Minnesota assistant professor.

In the United States, a study conducted by Brookings Institute said there could be a drop of perhaps half a million births, continuing beyond 2020.

“There might be a couple years where there is a lower demand for child care. Or the entering class of 2026 might be a bit smaller,” said Johnson.

Regions Hospital opened their new birthing center this year; they’re keeping an eye on the numbers, too.

“Earlier in 2020, for about a three-month period, I believe it was from March until partly into May, there was a recommendation nationally to stop and put a pause on doing infertility treatments, just because at that time, we didn’t know how serious COVID infection was going to be in pregnancy. So I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t see at least a little bit of a dip after the 1st of the year because of taking that break on infertility treatment,” said Dr. LeeAnn Hubbard, OB-GYN at Health Partners and Regions Hospital.

Whether it’ll turn into an end-of-the-pandemic “baby boom?”

The country will have to wait and see.


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