2019 Oakland County Births Reach Lowest Total Since 1951


2019 Oakland County Births Reach Lowest Total Since 1951

(Kurt Metzger, Jan. 14, 2021)

An aging population, combined with delayed marriage, the increasing educational attainment of women, smaller families, decreasing birth rates, and an increasing LGBTQ population, have all combined to reduce the number of births in Oakland County.

New data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) show that 12,899 babies were born to residents of Oakland County in 2019.  This is the lowest number of births since 1951’s total of 12,836.[1]

What makes this trend even more interesting is that fact that Oakland County’s 2019 population total was estimated at 1,257,584 – more than 3 times its 1951 total population estimate of about 410,000!

A county’s population grows as a result of natural increase (births minus deaths) and migration (domestic [within U.S.] plus international [immigration]).  Oakland County’s recent population growth has been driven by natural increase and immigration, as domestic migration has been a negative.  However, administration-driven decreases in immigrants allowed into the country have meant decreasing numbers for the county.  This has increased the importance of natural increase to grow the population.  However, this too is dropping due to decreased births and increasing deaths, as the county population ages.

Early estimates for 2020 indicate a further large pandemic-driven loss in births, and a large increase in deaths, portending an overall population loss in the future.

I will be exploring these trends in more detail over the weeks to come, and would appreciate hearing from readers regarding their family plans.

[1] The highest number of births occurred in 1960 at the heart of the baby boom (17,756).  A mini-boom occurred in the late 1980’s, as the total once again crossed the 17,000 threshold in 1990 (17,008).  Births have decreased since.

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