CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Predictions of a baby boom during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown have gone bust in North Carolina, according to a team of researchers.
Data compiled by Carolina Demography showed that birth rates in North Carolina fell by 3.1% from 2019 to 2020, in line with a national decline of 3.8% over the same period, the News & Observer reports.
Carolina Demography is located within the Carolina Population Center at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
Boone Turchi, an associate professor of economics at UNC, said the skyrocketing unemployment rates during the COVID-19 pandemic likely prompted many people to wait to have children.
Birth rates were falling before the pandemic. In North Carolina, birth rates decreased by 0.96% each year on average between 2015 and 2020.