For much of 2020, many American mothers-to-be were hesitant to carry pregnancies to term as COVID-19 vaccines had yet to be developed and distributed, hospitals were filling with infected patients and staff, families grappled with how to protect their vulnerable relatives, and indefinite work-stoppage mandates increased household economic uncertainty.
In 2021, the U.S. birth rate increased for the first time in seven years as vaccines began rolling out and many Americans were able to return back to work. But what many journalists and pundits had predicted would be a COVID baby bump turned out to be more of a baby blip.
By 2022, the long downward trend in U.S. fertility rates – common in the world’s developed countries – had begun again. In its preliminary estimate, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded 3,661,220 live births last year, a 1% year-over-year decrease from 2021. (See how many people were born the year you were born.)
To identify the states where more people were born in 2022 than in 2021, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the number of births in each state in 2021 and 2022 using preliminary data from the CDC. Population statistics for each state came from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Not every corner of the country was affected equally. According to the CDC, most states recorded a decline in live births, including six of the ten largest by population – led by Illinois and Michigan, which experienced respective birth rate declines of 3.1% and 2.7%.
But 13 states recorded birth-rate increases. Texas, the country’s second most-populous state, led the country with 389,417 live births last year, a 4.5% increase over the previous year. Florida, the country’s third-largest state by population, came in second with 224,419 births, a 3.6% rise. Six of the 13 states, admittedly, recorded only slight year-over-year increases – less than 1% – but about 1.38 million babies were born cumulatively in these 13 states last year, an overall 2.3% increase from 2021. (These are the states where births are outpacing deaths.)
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