Birth rates have fallen to catastrophic levels in the United Kingdom, new data shows.

Great Britain recorded the lowest number of newborns since at least 1938. More than three-quarters of babies in England and Wales were born to foreign mothers. 

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed the annual fertility rate in England and Wales fell to 1.58 children per woman on Oct. 14, 2021. Only 613,936 new births were recorded, representing a 4 percent drop on the same time in 2019–the lowest in 18 years.

The total fertility rate is the average number of live children a group of women has, if they experience age-specific fertility rates throughout their childbearing lives.

For a country to maintain its natural fertility rate at an optimum level, women should give birth to 2.1 children each year.

ONS suspects the decline is due to better access to contraceptives. The British Pregnancy Advisory Service blames COVID-19 (CCP virus) lockdowns, the rising cost of living, and need to give birth in hospital for a dramatic fall in fertility rates.

Only 10 live births were recorded per 100,000 women under the age of 20, 44.8 for those aged 20-24, 84.6 for 25-29, and 102.5 for 30-34.

Birth rates also decreased for women aged between 35 and 40 to 59.8. Women older than 40 recorded 16 per 100,000.

However, the annual fertility rate in the foreign-born population was 1.98 children per woman.

Mothers of Pakistani background reportedly had the most children during 2020, followed by Romanian mothers.

Of the babies delivered in the previous year, 179,881 (29.3 percent) were born to foreign women–the highest since record-keeping began in 1969.

There was also an “alarming” fall in the fertility rate and increasingly aging population. This could cause future economic stagnation, according to a Social Market Foundation (SMF) report released on Sept. 20.

“The long-term trend of people having fewer children could leave the UK with fewer workers, a weaker economy and unsustainable public finances,” the report said.

Breitbart reported families are unable to increase the number of children due to the government’s refusal to enact pro-family policies. Poland, Hungary and other socially conservative European countries have enjoyed success through such initiatives.

The publication also blames British “anti-family” tax policies for targeting individual income instead of the family as a whole.

Families relying on a single income are taxed more heavily than those with more than one income. This discourages workers from starting families.

“Given the alarming fall in fertility rates, and the risks that population ageing poses to our social and economic wellbeing, it is a discussion we should not duck,” SMF chief economist Aveek Bhattacharya said in a statement.

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