Mother with her newborn baby in the hospital

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A baby bust happened in 2020 despite the lockdown forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to researchers from UNC’s Carolina Population Center.

Data shows North Carolina’s birth rate fell by 3.1% last year, which is still above the national average that declined by 3.8%. One reason for the lack new population growth could be due to the timing of the pandemic coming early in 2020. A little over 100,000 live births were record in the state last year, down from 118,000 in 2019.

A majority of people made the decision to pass on having children, instead of going through the process during one of the worst times in modern American history. Jobless rates soared to historic highs along with the U.S. economy teetering with instability due to concerns with the virus.

It was also the tenth straight year the birth rate has fallen in North Carolina year-over-year. Overall, a twenty-year low, according to data from the March of Dimes.