US Fertility Rates Fall to New Lows, NE Rates Remain Steady

Feb 27, 2018

The CDC recently released its annual “Final Births” report.  David Drozd, Research Coordinator with UNO’s Center for Public Affairs Research, says the report breaks down all the characteristics of births based on the situation of the mother.

UNO Researcher, David Drozd

One of the measures on the report is called total fertility. 

Drozd explains this looks at how many births a woman would be expected to have over her lifetime as she moves throughout her reproductive years. 

He says 2.1 births per woman is the average needed to replace the population. 

Drozd says each racial group hit a new low in that measure in 2016 but there is some good news.

"What we are seeing is that nationally the numbers are coming down regarding fertility rates.  Here in Nebraska we are actually holding steady the last five or six years.  We did have a bit of a drop during the key part of the recession but we’ve largely stabilized while the rates nationally have continued to come downward.  So that should help Nebraska from a population growth standpoint.”

Drozd says another major finding in the report was that non-Hispanic white births were at their lowest level since the data series began in 1990. 

He says overall, we are seeing lows in the levels of Hispanic and non-Hispanic black women having babies.

These numbers though are part of a larger trend.  Drozd says fertility began to fall in 2007 when the recession was starting and that trend has just continued through the last decade.