Number of births in 2018 lowest in 32 years

U.S. 'fertility slump' continues

The number of babies born in this country fell to a 32-year low last year, according to provisional data released by the CDC on Wednesday.

By the CDC's count, there were 3,788,235 births last year, a 2% decrease from the 3,855,500 births in 2017. This is the fourth year in a row the number of births has declined after a slight increase in 2014. The trend of a decreasing number of births goes back a decade. 

The "fertility slump" is a major demographic development. The inverse of the baby boom and the bolus of millennials will have a ripple effect on the economy, housing, education, and heath care.

The CDC data also show that older mothers are becoming the norm. The birth rates among teenage women (ages 15-19) and women in their 20s hit record lows in 2018. The birth rate for women in their late 30s (ages 35-39) and early 40s (40-44) increased.