Both Vermont and New Hampshire saw an increase in birthrate during the pandemic – but New Hampshire (7%) far exceeded Vermont (.41%).
New England has seen an unusual uptick in births during the coronavirus pandemic as more highly educated residents, especially those in their 30s, seized working from home as an opportunity to start a family.
All six New England states were among the 13 states where births increased between 2019 and 2021. New Hampshire and Tennessee were the only states with more births last year than in 2014, the last time births rose nationally.
The New England baby boomlet is notable in a region with the lowest birth rates in the nation—and it contrasts with a long-term national decline in births.
Caitlin Doherty, 33, doesn’t feel lonely as a new mother in Dover, New Hampshire; in fact, she’s worried about competing with other new families for housing.
“Looking for a house in October we were outbid by $50,000 or even $100,000 over asking price,” Doherty said. “You should see all the people my age lining up for these open houses, young families and pregnant people. It’s crazy.”
In New Hampshire, the 7% increase in 2021 births compared with pre-pandemic 2019 was the highest increase in the nation. It was driven almost completely by women like Doherty in their early 30s with a college degree, according to a Stateline analysis of detailed birth data provided by the state.
“Our generation, and it’s a big generation, is really ready for parenthood, and we’re homebuyers,” said Doherty, whose first child, Connor, was born in August while she took a break from her career as a dietitian.
Births across the United States increased in 2021 for the first time in seven years, by 1% to about 3.7 million. But that’s still lower than 2019, continuing a long-term drop since a peak of 4.3 million in 2007. Only the New England states and a handful of others saw more births last year than in 2019, including New Jersey and Colorado, which also have large shares of young women with college degrees.
Stateline is a news service of the Pew Charitable Trust.
Categories: Society & Culture