PHOENIX - While many anticipated a baby boom during the pandemic, data shows that the birth rate has dropped, continuing a decade-long declining trend.
Last year, just as many babies were born in Arizona as people that died, but the overall population grew thanks to what the state has to offer.
The Jeffers delivered their second child, Cannon, on Tuesday night at Banner Ironwood Medical Center in Queen Creek.
"Dream come true honestly," said Cannon's father Cameron.
The newborn is a happy and healthy boy.
"He’s just so content," said mother Chloe. "Doesn’t want to wake up."
The couple was surprised to find out that fewer people have been welcoming newborns into the world.
"We just thought, ‘Everyone’s home during COVID, we’re going to have all of these COVID babies, but then talking to nurses here, people weren’t delivering," Chloe said. "And it’s like, where did everyone go?"
Dr. Jennifer Pena with Nurx, the largest digital practice for women’s health, says requests for birth control went up 50% during the pandemic.
"Economic anxiety, a lot [of] women lost their jobs in the pandemic, so it caused a lot of folks to put their family planning on hold," Pena explained.
But it's not just a one-year problem. According to preliminary 2020 birth rate data in an internal DHS email, the rate for last year was just 10.7 births per 1 thousand people.
It’s been a steady decline, with a nearly 25% drop in the birth rate since 2009.
"You need at least 2.1 births for every death in order to naturally replace your population on over the last decade," said Scott Wilken with the Maricopa Association of Governments. "We’ve had under 2."
Wilken says all of the growth seen in Arizona is solely because of migration, not birth.
"Phoenix and Arizona are pretty lucky that people want to move here, and got a lot of good reasons they want to move here," Wilken said. "Hopefully we can keep that up."
According to Wilken, someone moves to Maricopa County every two minutes.
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