Baby boom forecast busts in North Carolina

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.

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