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Total fertility rate of the United States 1800-2020

The fertility rate of a country is the average number of children that women from that country will have throughout their reproductive years. In the United States in 1800, the average woman of childbearing age would have seven children over the course of their lifetime. As factors such as technology, hygiene, medicine and education improved, women were having fewer children than before, reaching just two children per woman in 1940. This changed quite dramatically in the aftermath of the Second World War, rising sharply to over 3.5 children per woman in 1960 (children born between 1946 and 1964 are nowadays known as the 'Baby Boomer' generation, and they make up roughly twenty percent of todays US population). Due to the end of the baby boom and increased access to contraception, fertility reached it's lowest point in the US in 1980, where it was just 1.77. It did however rise to over two children per woman between 1995 and 2010, although it is expected to drop again by 2020, to just 1.78.

Total fertility rate in the United States from 1800 to 2020*

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Release date

June 2019


United States

Survey time period


Supplementary notes

*All data given is an average of the preceding five year period.

Source for data from1800-1950 can be found here.

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Statistics on "Births in the U.S."

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