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US birth rate falls to record low

The US birth rate fell to a record low last year, driven by a decline in the number of babies born to immigrant women.

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A Belarussian nurse attends to newborn infants in the maternity ward of a hospital in Minsk, Belarus on Mar. 8, 2010. (VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP/Getty Images)

The US birth rate fell to a record low last year, driven by a decline in the number of babies born to immigrant women.

According to a Pew Research Center report, the US birth rate fell 8 percent from 2007 to 2010, reported Bloomberg. It dropped 6 percent for US-born women and 14 percent for foreign-born women since 2007. Last year's decline was the lowest since records started being kept in 1920.

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The research suggests that the economic downturn starting in 2007 and drop in household wealth among Hispanic and foreign-born females could be reasons for the drop in births, according to The Telegraph. The rate for Mexican women dropped by 23 percent.

Average household wealth declined by two-thirds among Hispanics between 2005 and 2009, a higher rate than white, black or Asian households, noted ABC News. The Hispanic population has had higher-than-average rates of unemployment, which also may deter some people from having children.

A drop in new arrivals to the US has also affected the birth rate, with immigration from Mexico reaching a net zero in 2010, said The Telegraph.

The birth rate is defined as the number of births per 1000 women, aged 15-44.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/121130/us-birth-rate-falls-record-low