CDC report: 10.5K born in R.I. in 2018 as national births hit 32-year low

NATIONAL BIRTHS hit a 32-year low in 2018, according to preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Above,a map of 2018 birth rates by state. / BLOOMBERG NEWS
NATIONAL BIRTHS hit a 32-year low in 2018, according to preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Above,a map of 2018 birth rates by state. / BLOOMBERG NEWS

PROVIDENCE – There were 10,506 live births in Rhode Island in 2018, according to a preliminary report Wednesday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, a decline from 10,638 one year prior.

The lowest number of births of any state in 2018, according to the report, was in Vermont at 5,431. The highest number of births was in California, where roughly 454,526 people were born.

Of the total births in Rhode Island, 6,009 were White, 2,751 were Hispanic, 777 were African-American, 516 were Asian, 36 were American Indian or Alaska Native, and five were Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, according to the data.

Preliminary figures for New England birth totals in 2018:

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  • Massachusetts: 69,133, a decline from 70,702 one year prior
  • Connecticut: 34,723, a decline from 35,221 one year prior
  • Maine: 12,308, an increase from 12,298 one year prior
  • New Hampshire: 11,992, a decline from 12,116 one year prior
  • Rhode Island: 10,506, a decline from 10,638 one year prior
  • Vermont: 5,431, a decline from 5,655 one year prior

Nationally, the United States was confronted by its lowest number of births in 32 years, according to the provisional data.

The total fertility rate (which represents the number of births per woman), is steadily decreasing, and remains under its replacement level of 2.1 per 1,000, where it has been since 2009. In addition, all states are not equal when it comes to the diversity of their new generation of toddlers.

According to NCHS data, a total of 3,788,235 babies were born in the United States in 2018. The Census Bureau estimated the population of the United States to be 327,167,434 in 2018. The birth rate, that is the number of babies born per 1,000 mothers, was 59. The birth rate for 2017 was 60.3, also a new low.

When digging into state level data racial disparities become evident. Looking at the number of babies born by state for each race gives a look into the diversity divergences in the United States. In some states, such as Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Vermont or West Virginia, newborns are overwhelmingly white, much like the overall population.

In Maine, for example, in 2018, out of the 12,308 babies born in the state, 11,019 were white. This represented 89.5% of all births. On the other hand, in Mississippi, in 2018, 42.7% of all newborns were African-American. Mississippi also had the highest proportion of African-Americans in the United States: approximately 37% of the whole state population.

Marie Patino is a reporter for Bloomberg News. PBN contributed to this article.