The number of babies born in the U.S. last year dropped to its lowest level in decades.
According to provisional data from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, there were about 3.79 million births in the U.S. in 2018. That's down 2% from the previous year and the lowest number of births in 32 years.
The general fertility rate — the number of births per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44 — slumped to its lowest level since federal record-keeping began. And it was below the level needed for a population to replace itself.
Experts say these declining numbers are likely due to several trends, like teenagers having fewer babies and more women getting college degrees. But some believe the downward trends could reverse as women who have been postponing pregnancy until their late 30s and early 40s start their families.
Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.