A Visual Breakdown of America’s Stagnating Number of Births

Anthony DeBarros::

About 3.66 million babies were born in the U.S. in 2022, essentially unchanged from 2021 and 15% below the peak hit in 2007, according to new federal figures released Thursday.

The provisional total—3,661,220 births—is about 3,000 below 2021’s final count, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. Final government data expected later this year could turn that small deficit positive.

Experts have pointed to a confluence of factors behind the nation’s recent relative dearth of births, including economic and social obstacles ranging from child care to housing affordability.

Absent increases in immigration, fewer births combined with ongoing baby boomer retirements will likely weigh on the labor force supply within the next 10 years, said Kathy Bostjancic, chief economist at Nationwide, an insurance and financial-services company.

“You’re going to have a real shortage of workers unless we have technology somehow to fill the gap,” Bostjancic said.

A look at the trends in charts: