This article originally appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle’s health section on November 21, 2012.
The birthrate in California has dropped to what many believe is the lowest level ever. In 2010, the most recent data available from the California Department of Public Health, the state saw 63 births for every 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44.
California’s 1995 birthrate was 75.5 babies per 1,000 women, and the rate has declined most years since then. A sharper decline in the birthrate since 2008, many experts say, is a result of the recession.
In San Francisco, the number is considerably below state average, but other Bay Area counties are higher. Hans Johnson, a demographer at the Public Policy Institute of California in San Francisco, attributes San Francisco’s low birthrate to the fact that many people move out of the city and into the suburbs when they want to start families. Additionally, one-third of the county’s population is Asian, and Asians have the lowest birthrate among the state’s ethnic groups. In contrast, Latinos have the highest birthrate, but only 15 percent of San Francisco is Latino.
Here are the numbers:
San Francisco County has the fourth lowest birthrate in the state, behind the Northern California counties of Sierra, Trinity and Calaveras.
The average number of babies born in San Francisco per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44 in 2010.
The average number of babies born per 1,000 women in Santa Clara County. Santa Clara ranked 16 among the 58 counties in the birthrate rankings – the highest in the Bay Area. San Mateo County falls above the state average with 64.5 babies per 1,000 women, and Marin, Contra Costa and Alameda are all slightly below the state average.
The percentage of California’s 9.2 million children who lived in Los Angeles County in 2010.