PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Childbirth is dipping across the United States, but in Oregon, it’s declining faster than most other states.
Oregon was among the 10 states with the greatest decrease in its birth rate from 2016 to 2021, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
QuoteWizard, an insurance comparison platform that also studies trends among states, recently compiled birth rate data for all 50 states to see what the trends showed.
The study revealed Oregon has seen the ninth-biggest drop in births since 2016. In 2016, 45,535 babies were born in Oregon. In 2021, 40,868 were born — a decline of 10%.
In all 50 states, not including Washington D.C., 285,372 fewer children were born in 2021 than in 2016, which is a decline of 7%.
Over the last six years, data show that birth rates in the U.S. declined every year except one: 2021. Experts attribute the increased birth rate that year to the effect the COVID-19 pandemic had on births. Childbirth rates increased by nearly 2% between 2020 and 2021.
While Oregon is among the states where the birth rate has seen the greatest decline, it’s minor compared to other states. In Alaska, birth rates are down 17%. In Wyoming they’re down 16% and in New Mexico they’re down 15%.
Analysts from QuoteWizard say that Alaska is the most expensive state to have a child in.
They say social trends, the economy and the infant mortality rate all play roles in birth rates.
Costs can also prevent some people from choosing to give birth. Researchers from QuoteWizard say depending on where you live, having a child can cost between $21,000 and $37,000 in the first year alone. Add in unexpected costs like health complications and testing and that figure can climb to more than $100,000.
New Hampshire and Tennessee are the only two states where the birth rate increased from 2016 to 2021. In New Hampshire, it rose 3% and in Tennessee, it rose 1%.
In Washington state, the birth rate declined by 7% from 2016 to 2021.
For the first time in recorded history in 2022, Oregon deaths outpaced births. State economist Josh Lehner said forecasts show this trend will likely continue forever in Oregon.
This means Oregon will need to rely on people from out of state moving in to increase its population and help fuel its economy. A low birth rate in 2021 means fewer new workers 18-20 years down the road.