NEW YORK (WSYR-TV) — Women living in New York are having babies at an older age and not as many as before according to recent data.

A recent Cornell University study, compiled data from the Program in Applied Demographics (PAD) in the Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy, shows a decline in New York’s childbirth rate and that many women are waiting longer to have children.

According to the data, in 2011, about 241,312 babies were born in New York, and in 2021, that number dropped 13% to 210,742 babies.

New York State’s total fertility rate (TFR) – the average number of births a woman would have in her lifetime if current patterns continue – also dropped from 1.85 in 2009 to 1.55 in 2021.

The 2021 TFR for New York was below the U.S. average of 1.71, and far below the 2.1 “replacement” rate, or the point at which a developed country’s population rate would neither rise nor decline.

The data also proved that women in New York who are having babies are waiting until later in their life to do so. The average age of first birth for New York women was 28.9 in 2021, more than a year older than the average age in 2011 (27.2). 

In women ages 35-44, the fertility rate has significantly increased as well but not enough to offset the decline in childbirths by younger women.

“Other states in the Northeast are also facing declining fertility and an aging population, which has many implications for policy and infrastructure,” said PAD researcher Leslie Reynolds. “But since New York has an especially unique and diverse state geography, also paying attention to local and county trends and using them to inform policies is vital.”

The study also found the following data:

  • The TFR is highest for women who live in Rockland, Jefferson, and Orange counties and lowest for women in Otsego, New York City (Manhattan), and Tompkins counties.
  • 65% of the households with babies were led by opposite-sex, married couples. 17% were single mothers, 13% were cohabiting couples of any sex, and 5% were single fathers. As the children grew to toddler stage and beyond, the number of married couples fell and the percentage of single moms increased. 
  • There were about 4,270 more boys than girls born in 2021.
  • Liam, Noah, and Olivia were the most popular baby names in 2020.