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Fewer people in Pennsylvania are having children

Morning Call - 5/16/2019

May 16-- May 16--The Centers for Disease Control released a preliminary report showing the number of live births in the United States declined in 2018, as it has done every year since 2014. The Morning Call combined the numbers from the just-released provisional report with state-level birth data from the CDC covering the years 2013 through 2017.

The numbers for Pennsylvania mirror the national trend, but the state's decline had been about half the rate of the national decline until last year. The 135,551 babies born in the state represent a 1.59% decline from 2017. That compares to a nationwide decline of 1.74%, with about 3.8 million babies born.

The combined data show that the number of babies born in Pennsylvania has been on the decrease for several years, even while its total population holds about steady. It's 1.59% rate of decline from 2017 to 2018 puts it exactly in the middle of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Wyoming dipped more than 5% year-to-year, while Missouri lead the nation with an increase of 0.26%. Maine and New Jersey joined Missouri to be the only three states to show an increase in the number of live births from 2017 to 2018.

The average annual change in the number of births in the state was -0.77%, which is slightly higher than the national average of -0.73%. Wyoming and Florida are at the extremes, with the former declining an average of 3% year-to-year, and the sunshine state showing an average annual increase of 0.6%.

The graphics below illustrate the continuing diminution in births.

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