The U.S. fertility rate fell to a record low in 2017, the National Center for Health Statistics reported Thursday, down 3 percent from the year before. Birth rates declined sharply after the Great Recession that began in 2008, but researchers are surprised that the rate hasn't bounced back since the economy recovered. Last year there were just 60.2 births per 1,000 women of childbearing age. The drop from 2016 to 2017 constitutes the largest single-year decline since the recession. There is a growing number of women of childbearing age, but researchers think they are postponing pregnancy to focus on career advancements and achieving financial stability.

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