Utah has the highest drop in percentage of babies being born in the country. Since 2007 the percentage has dropped 36.2% from 21.2 births per 1000 people in 2007 to 13.5 in 2022. Utah still leads the nation for births, but just barely. The nationwide birth rate stands at 11.1
That is the highest percentage drop of any other state in the country. Arizona was at -36.1% and Nevada at -34.0%. The nation as a whole was down nearly 23%.
There are many factors that cause birth rates to dip. As income rises and greater prosperity, birth rates tend to decline. More women in the workforce can lower the number of children born, but not always. It depends on parental leave laws.
So, why does this matter except for quieter playgrounds and bowls of left over Halloween candy for lack of trick or treaters. Axios describes the worry.
Some fear that if the birth rate dips too low, it will bring about a crisis where there are too few young people to care for an aging populace. (This is a particularly salient issue in Japan, which has among the world's oldest populations and where the birth rate fell to a record low last year.)
Each woman in the U.S. would need 2.1 children to replace those passing away. In 2022 the number was at 1.7 children per woman, well below that replacement threshold. Utah and the rest of the nation is headed in the direction of Japan and Europe with declining populations.
There was a small increase in births in 2022 from 11.0 to 11.1. It will be interesting to see if that trend continues into 2023 or if it was a leftover effect of the pandemic.