The U.S. Census reported this week that birth rates have started to rebound from COVID-19 after hitting a low last winter.
According to provisional monthly data, the pandemic caused the birth rate to decline from November 2020 to February 2021, but signs of a possible rebound arose in March.
Comparing March 2020 to March 2021, the Census reported that birth rates declined only 0.15 percent, substantially smaller than the 0.91% drop from March 2019 to March 2020.
“This trend suggests that some people who postponed having babies last year had them this year,” the Census report said.
While U.S. births have a seasonal pattern that hits its lowest point during winter, following similar trends in other countries, and the number of births has declined steadily since 2008, the report still found substantial drops when it compared 2020-2021 to previous winters.
The 285,138 children born in December 2020 were 23,664 fewer than in December 2019, a 7.66 percent drop. On average, there were 763 fewer births each day in December 2020 than in December 2019.
In addition to couples choosing to delay having children during the pandemic, the Census speculated that stress or limited physical interaction with a sexual partner may also have been factors.
The report notes that after COVID-19 was declared a national emergency in March 2020, overall births also dropped at a much higher rate compared to the rate of decline since 2008.
According to the Human Fertility Database, several other countries have mirrored the U.S. trend of a pandemic birth rate winter decline and spring rebound.