The fertility rate in the United States hit a record low in 2018 after four consecutive years of decline, The New York Times reports. There were just over 59 births for every 1,000 women of childbearing age in the country last year, according to newly released figures from the National Center for Health Statistics. That’s down by 2 percent from the previous year, and has fallen sharply, by about 15 percent, since 2007. Experts have long believed that fertility rates drop off in difficult economic times but rise again when the economy recovers. However, the fertility rate hasn’t risen since the recession in 2008, other than a brief uptick in 2014. The rate reportedly fell most steeply among teenagers, down 7.4 percent from the year before, and teenage births have fallen by more than 70 percent since 1991.
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