Deaths outnumber births in Britain for the first time since 1976

WION Web Team
LONDON Published: Jun 25, 2021, 07:54 AM(IST)

A newborn baby is seen in the maternity ward at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey, Britain, May 22, 2020. Photograph:( Reuters )

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This is the first year since 1976 when deaths have outnumbered births, and it has not happened for any other year since records began in the 1930s.

In 2020, births in the UK reached a new low, with more deaths than births for the first time since 1976.

Official data reveal that 683,180 babies were born in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland in 2020, the equivalent of one every 46.2 seconds. There were, however, 689,708 deaths. 

This is the first year since 1976 when deaths have outnumbered births, and it has not happened for any other year since records began in the 1930s.

Also read: COVID-19 infections rising exponentially in England, doubling every 11 days

Several births plummeted to record lows last winter while easing restrictions last summer led to a spike this March.

Last year's coronavirus outbreak resulted in a sharp increase in mortality, yet birth rates have been declining for the past decade. 

The Centre for Population Change, which is supported by the Economic and Social Research Council, predicts a "drop over the following three years, resulting in significantly fewer births annually compared to pre-pandemic."

Pre-Covid, birthrates had already fallen to "historically low levels," lower than during the Great Depression of the 1930s. 

A birthrate of 2.1 infants per woman is required to maintain demographic stability.

In England and Wales, it had already dropped to 1.6 last year, but it is now expected to drop to 1.45 by 2023. 

All the reasons for this are depressing, signifying hardship, insecurity and anxiety. 

It depicts a world in which raising children is an undue burden on women, with too many barriers to earning while doing so.

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