The U.S. birth rate increased for the first time in seven years in 2021, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released on Tuesday.
The National Center for Health Statistics analysis of 99.94 percent of registered birth records from last year found that births rose by 1 percent compared to the 2020 numbers, the first upswing since 2014.
From 2014 to 2020, births declined by approximately 2 percent every year, according to the numbers processed by the National Vital Statistics System.
A total of 3,659,289 births in 2021 puts the U.S. population back on track for normal levels of growth, although the total fertility rate last year remained below “replacement” level, the rate necessary to fully replace the number of people in the current adult generation.
The total fertility rate has remained consistently below replacement level since 2007 and has experienced a downward trend for the past half-century since 1971.
The total fertility rate increased by 1 percent, rising to 1,663.5 births per group of 1,000 American women.
The general fertility rate, which is adjusted by age group, increased by the same percentage, moving up to 56.6 births per 1,000 women in the 15-44 age group.
Meanwhile, the rate of babies born preterm rose by 4 percent in the first increase since 2007.
The Vital Statistics Rapid Release report found that births rose by 2 percent for White and Hispanic women and 3 percent for American Indian or Alaskan Native and Asian women.
Births decreased by a negligible amount among Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander women.