US Newborns may drop by 300-500K in 2021
US Newborns may drop by 300-500K in 2021. Brookings Institution: The COVID-19 epidemic may cause the number of newborns in the United States to drop by 300,000 to 500,000 in 2021.
The epidemic has reduced family outings, and some people suspect that this may bring about a “baby boom” a year later. Regrettably, according to a report from the USA TODAY website, a Brookings Institution report shows that the number of newborns in the United States will fall “destructively” in 2021, with an estimated reduction of 300,000 to 500,000.
Social distancing leads to a decrease in dating between male and female friends, economic pressure and uncertainty in parenting, etc., which are all important reasons for the decline in fertility. Google’s search volume related to gender and pregnancy, such as “romantic time”, “pain during sex”, “morning sickness”, etc., have also decreased significantly.
Phillip Levine, professor of economics at Wellesley College and author of the Brookings Report, said that the epidemic has upended everything in our lives. This spring, many people joked that we will usher in a “COVID-19 baby boom”, just like the long-term “disaster baby boom”, that is, a baby boom in the nine months following a hurricane or snowstorm disaster. Of course, keeping men and women in the same room does not mean that one more child will be born. This is not the law of fertility in modern society.
In reality, the so-called catastrophic baby boom is just a romantic imagination. In reality, catastrophic weather will not bring a baby boom, let alone the current epidemic. The epidemic has not only caused the inability to go out, but also affected all aspects of life.
“Modern Fertility” magazine surveyed 4000 women of childbearing age, and about 30% said they would change their birth plans. Among them, 48% of families decided to postpone childbirth, 26% were unsure whether to have a child, and 25% decided to give birth as soon as possible.
When talking about why they want children as early as possible, most of the interviewees said that the epidemic blockade allowed them to understand “the most important thing in life” and “working from home can lead to a better work-life balance.” For example, Amanda Adomatis, 43, of Alabama, said that the epidemic has made her and her family closer, so she wants a fourth child.
Of course, more people choose to postpone childbirth or are uncertain because they have concerns about family financial conditions and do not know how to ensure the safety of prenatal care.
Levine said that the number of newborns in the United States is declining every year. In 2019, the number of newborns in the United States has set the lowest record since 1985, with a total of 3.75 million, a decrease of 1% from 2018. Based on the past relationship between fertility and social economy, including the law of fertility after the 1918 pandemic, it is calculated that the number of newborns in the United States will be reduced by 300,000 to 500,000 in 2021, which is equivalent to 8-13 times that of 2019.
Even if the epidemic situation has improved, changes in economic capacity often lag behind public health adjustments. The situation in 2022 may be even worse. Just like the impact of the 1918 epidemic, this great decline in the infant birth rate will not improve immediately. Affected by this, the labor force in the industry related to baby care will also be affected. Therefore, with the sharp drop in the infant birth rate and the economic shock brought about by the epidemic itself, the adverse effects may be lasting.
Levine, we may need innovative solutions to adapt to the new round of shocks brought about by the low fertility rate in society.