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U.S. Birth Rate Declined in 2008

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Economic turmoil may be one reason why the number of births in the United States decreased by nearly two percent in 2008, the first annual decline since the start of the decade, the Associated Press reported.

There were 4,247,000 births last year, down about 68,000 from 2007, according to the report by the National Center for Health Statistics. In contrast, more babies were born in 2007 than in any other year in the nation's history.

Births in 2008 were lower in all but 10 states, the AP reported. Most of the states that had increases were in the northwest, including Idaho, North Dakota, Montana, Washington and Wyoming.

California saw a decline of 15,000 births while births in Florida were down by 8,000 in 2008.

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