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CDC Reports Biggest Birth Rate Drop in 30 Years

David De Lossy/Digital Vision(WASHINGTON) -- There has been a four percent drop in births in the U.S. from 2007 to 2009 -- the largest two-year decline in 30 years, according to a report released Thursday from the Center for Disease and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

"Certainly the economy and war have been two of the biggest influences on birth rate historically," said Paul Sutton, statistician and lead author of the report.

The number of births in the United States reached an all-time high of 4,316,233 in 2007. The subsequent decline, which shows no sign of leveling off, mirrors the country's ongoing economic crisis -- an observation consistent with other recessions.

"The two-year decline was notable, but not truly of historic proportions when compared with the large, extended fertility declines in the early 20th century and in the 1960s and early 1970s," the authors wrote.

After the Great Depression of the 1930s, the biggest drop in birth rate followed the post World War Two baby boom -- the so-called baby bust of the'60s and '70s.

The CDC report released Thursday breaks down birth data by maternal age, race and geographical location. And not surprisingly, the biggest drop occurred in states hit hardest by the recession, including Florida, Arizona and California.

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