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Nation & World

Lowest US birth rate in 3 decades could pose risk to economy

WASHINGTON (AP) – Women in the United States gave birth last year at the lowest rate in 30 years, a trend that could weigh on economic growth in the coming years.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics says the number of U.S. babies born last year fell 2 percent from 2016 to 3.85 million, also a 30-year low. Total births have fallen for 3 straight years. The fertility rate dropped 3 percent last year to 60.2 births per 1,000 women ages 15 through 44.

Economic growth has already slowed in the United States, with the vast baby boom generation retiring and fewer young people replacing them.

Economic expansion is generally driven by population growth and worker efficiency, both of which have slowed in the past decade.

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