Birth Rate in California Drops to Lowest Level in State’s History, Data Shows
California’s birth rate dropped to its lowest ever in 2016, according to data released by the state’s Department of Finance.
Between July 2015 and July of this year, there were 12.42 births per 1,000 Californians. The last time birth rates came close to being that low was during the Great Depression, when they hit 12.6 in 1933.
The current low birth rate is part of a years-long downward trend that likely stems from Californians increasingly attending college and taking longer to graduate, said Walter Schwarm, a demographer at the Department of Finance. When they do complete their schooling, they’re interested in taking some time to pursue their careers or other goals, he said.
“Eventually you think about having a child and by this point in time you’re in your early 30s,” he said. Because that’s also when women’s fertility begins to decrease, they end up having fewer children than if they’d started in their 20s, he said.
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