Is it already happening or are Down syndrome births disappearing because of the all-time low U.S. birthrate?

cdc births graphI have asked for reports from local parent support organizations by next Monday, July 15, 2013, on the number of births they have welcomed in 2013 and in the past several years. The more reports received from across the nation will give a better picture of whether this is a part of a national trend.

So far, none of the reports received show a rate that will equal the number of births in 2012. Reports received so far include those showing a slight decline, a decline of about 33%, and a decline of 90% in 2013 births as compared to 2012 births.  

A report this week shares data from the Center for Disease Control showing that births are at an all-time low in the United States. The Great Recession is cited as the main reason for this downturn in births–couples are more hesitant to incur the financial demand of parenting in a sluggish economy.

Perhaps the decrease in birth referrals is due to a general decline in all births. Except, the same report shares that while the rate for women in their teens and 20s has dropped:

the birthrate actually increased slightly for older women in their early 40s, and remained the same for women in their 30s.

The incidence of Down syndrome correlates with maternal age–i.e. the older the mom is when pregnant, the greater her chance of having a child with Down syndrome. With births remaining the same or rising for older moms, there should be a higher percentage of pregnancies carrying a child with Down syndrome.

I am asking for the number of referrals to local parent support organizations as one indication of Down syndrome births so far in 2013. There are several other potential sources for Down syndrome births, such as public birth registries. The only thing is, there is no national registry. Further, few states keep track of these numbers and those that do often do not have the most current information. For example, my home state of Kentucky’s publicly available statistics on the rate of Down syndrome births has as its most recent year 2002.

Reports from local parent organization is one way to see if the number of births is rising, staying the same, or falling. Local parent organizations have been providing support for years to their local medical communities and many have kept statistics on the number of new babies they have served each year.

To see if the early reports of a fall-off in Down syndrome births is steeper than the overall national decline, I appreciate you submitting your numbers by next Monday, July 15, 2013. To the extent you have at least the past three years, that is appreciated to show any increase or fall off.

Feel free to leave your report in a comment below or e-mail me at mleach[at]downsyndromeprenataltesting[dot]com.*

*E-mail address appears this way to avoid bots and spammers

For more information on the request for birth referrals, click here and here


  1. […] a previous post, I shared how, due to The Great Recession, overall births are at their lowest point but have […]

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