The provisional count of births through the first half of 2012 shows a continued downward slide, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. During the 12 months ending in June 2012, 3,942,000 babies were born in the United States. This was 39,000 fewer births than during the same period ending in June 2011--a 1 percent decline. It was 374,233 fewer births than the 4,316,233 of 2007--the record high year.
So far in this newest baby bust, births have fallen 9 percent from the 2007 peak. During the baby bust of the 1970s, which created Generation X, births fell 37 percent from peak (1957) to trough (1973). We have a long way to go before we come close to that kind of decline.
The fertility rate for the 12 months ending in June 2012 fell to 63.0 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44. This is an all-time low.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Recent Trends in Births and Fertility Rates through June 2012