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How 2021 Birth Counts Are Shaping Up in the 5 Biggest States

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Early figures from the National Center for Health Statistics suggest that U.S. residents may have resumed having babies in 2021.

Because of the direct and indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of live U.S. births plunged 4% between 2019 and 2020, to 3.6 million.

But the number of live births recorded for the first three quarters of 2021 — from Jan. 1, 2021, through Sept. 30, 2021 — fell just 0.2% below the figure for the comparable period in 2020, according to provisional data from the National Center for Health Statistics, an arm of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the median state, the number of births crept up 0.07%.

The year-over-year changes ranged from a decrease of 5.01%, in New Mexico, up to an increase of 5.93%, in New Hampshire.

What It Means

For life and annuity issuers, changes in birth counts could have an immediate effect on marketing campaigns.

Consumers often think about buying life insurance and putting other financial arrangements in place, such as disability insurance, and even individual retirement accounts, when they go through a major life event, such as having a baby. The 2020 drop in the number of births could have contributed to the pandemic-related obstacles to helping people get covered.

Ups and downs in the number of births could also have an immediate effect on sales of juvenile life insurance.

Starting in the late 2040s, the pandemic-related birth slump could cut the number of young adults forming households, having their own children and getting serious about their own financial arrangements. But it’s possible that the young adults joining the workforce then will have an easier time finding stable jobs, and that they will be able to pay more for the insurance and annuity products that they do buy.

The Data

Statisticians with the National Center for Health Statistics’ National Vital Statistics System compile birth data by processing reports from U.S. states and other U.S. jurisdictions.

Some jurisdictions take more time than others to complete filing their data.

The National Vital Statistics System team published the final birth data for 2020 Monday.

The team publishes the provisional monthly data on a separate website. The most recent data on the website at press time was for September.

For the birth numbers, for the first three quarters of 2021, for the five states with the highest population, see the gallery above.

For data for all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, see the table below.

Early U.S. Birth Data for the First Three Quarters of 2021

State Births (Jan. 1-Sept. 30)
2020 2021 Change (in %)
Alabama        43,489        43,037 -1.04
Alaska          7,112          7,174 0.87
Arizona        57,337        56,745 -1.03
Arkansas        26,786        26,913 0.47
California      317,638      310,584 -2.22
Colorado        46,674        47,603 1.99
Connecticut        25,713        26,748 4.03
Delaware          7,901          7,830 -0.90
District of Columbia          6,359          6,050 -4.86
Florida      156,766      159,176 1.54
Georgia        92,352        92,160 -0.21
Hawaii        11,805        11,642 -1.38
Idaho        16,485        16,936 2.74
Illinois      101,470        99,558 -1.88
Indiana        59,677        59,187 -0.82
Iowa        27,473        27,800 1.19
Kansas        26,026        26,045 0.07
Kentucky        38,935        39,347 1.06
Louisiana        42,747        42,435 -0.73
Maine          8,819          9,085 3.02
Maryland        52,271        51,128 -2.19
Massachusetts        51,045        52,295 2.45
Michigan        79,615        78,944 -0.84
Minnesota        48,465        48,529 0.13
Mississippi        26,525        25,963 -2.12
Missouri        52,702        52,177 -1.00
Montana          8,272          8,504 2.80
Nebraska        18,376        18,387 0.06
Nevada        25,231        24,904 -1.30
New Hampshire          9,069          9,607 5.93
New Jersey        74,627        75,644 1.36
New Mexico        16,561        15,731 -5.01
New York      159,746      158,229 -0.95
North Carolina        88,354        89,471 1.26
North Dakota          7,611          7,611 0.00
Ohio        98,202        97,380 -0.84
Oklahoma        35,802        35,766 -0.10
Oregon        30,483        30,914 1.41
Pennsylvania        98,862        99,173 0.31
Puerto Rico        14,213        13,842 -2.61
Rhode Island          7,768          7,868 1.29
South Carolina        41,689        42,235 1.31
South Dakota          8,433          8,710 3.28
Tennessee        59,182        60,799 2.73
Texas      274,979      273,956 -0.37
Utah        35,274        35,594 0.91
Vermont          3,959          4,021 1.57
Virginia        72,247        72,371 0.17
Washington        63,116        63,003 -0.18
West Virginia        13,300        13,185 -0.86
Wisconsin        46,343        46,472 0.28
Wyoming          4,739          4,709 -0.63
MEDIAN 0.07
TOTAL   2,748,625   2,743,177

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(Photo: Ramona Heim/Shutterstock)