Connecticut Had Nation's 4th Lowest Birth Rate, New Federal Data Shows

The number of births in the U.S.  fell for the fourth year in a row in 2011, and Connecticut’s birth rate was among the lowest in the nation.  Nationally, experts said the declining birth rate was a reflection of the weak economy, which has dampened enthusiasm for having children.  The decline in 2011 was one percent – following a two to three percent drop in other recent years. Falling births is a relatively new phenomenon in the U.S. Births had been on the rise since the late 1990s and hit an all-time high of more than 4.3 million in 2007.  But fewer than 4 million births were counted last year - the lowest number since 1998.  And Connecticut's birth rate was tied for the fourth lowest in the U.S.

The breakdown by race/ethnicity in Connecticut:  37,280 births, including 21,541 white, 8,388 Hispanic, 4,777 black, and 2, 289 Asian or Pacific Islander, according to the National Vital Statistics Report developed for the federal Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That’s a birth rate of 10.4 per 1,000 total population, the report indicated.  Only Maine (9.6), Vermont (9.7) and New Hampshire (9.7) had lower rates; Rhode Island also had a birth rate of 10.4.  The highest birth rates in the nation were in Utah (18.2), Alaska (15.8), the District of Columbia (15.1) and Texas (14.7).   The overall U.S. average was 12.7 births per 1,000 population.

The report, released on October 3,  is a first comprehensive look at 2011 birth certificate data compiled from state health departments.