Wisconsin Public Radio

State’s Birth Rate Hits Historic Low

Down 12% since 2007, lowest since 1970s.

By , Wisconsin Public Radio - Nov 27th, 2019 10:56 am
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Newborn baby. Photo is in the Public Domain.

Newborn baby. Photo is in the Public Domain.

The trend of fewer babies being born in Wisconsin continues. But the state decline in 2018 was less than it was across the United States where births dropped 2 percent compared to 2017.

In 2017, the number of babies born in Wisconsin dropped to its lowest point in decades at 64,994 births. In 2018 that number declined another 1.3 percent to 64,143 births.

“The number of births and the birth rates are at some of the lowest levels since the mid-70s. We haven’t seen this pattern for over 40 years,” said David Egan-Robertson with the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Applied Population Lab.

“We used to be able to predict births fairly well. Now its getting more difficult,” he added.

Wisconsin’s birth rate has dropped 12 percent since 2007. But Egan-Robertson said the rate has fallen 20 percent over that same period of time in some counties, especially those where manufacturing jobs have disappeared.

One reason for the drop in births is fewer very young mothers. Year after year trends show teen births continue to decline in both the state and country.

“The birth rates for teenagers in 2018 declined by 7 percent. That’s really quite striking,” said Brady Hamilton, is a statistician with the National Center for Health Statistics.

national report released Wednesday from the center also shows a decline in multiple births.

There was a 4 percent drop in twins last year. And the number of triplets was at its lowest level since 1991, according to the report.

Listen to the WPR report here.

2018 Sees Continued Downward Trend In Babies Born In Wisconsin was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.

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