Alabama Recorded More Deaths Than Births in 2020 for 1st Time in State History

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news and stories relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is based in Maryland.
September 20, 2021 Updated: September 20, 2021

The state of Alabama recorded more deaths than births in 2020, according to preliminary data gathered by state officials.

“This past year, 2020, is going to be the first year that we know of in the history of our state where we actually had more deaths than births. Our state literally shrunk,” Dr. Scott Harris, Alabama’s state health officer, told a COVID-19 town hall on Sept. 17.

The preliminary numbers show 64,714 people died in Alabama last year, compared to 57,641 births. Much of the preliminary information comes from hospitals.

“We have data going back to the first decade of the 20th century, so more than 100 years. That’s never happened before, nor has it ever even been close before. In World War II or during the flu pandemic of 1918 or World War I, we’ve never had a time where deaths exceed births until this past year and it’s certainly possible that could happen this year as well if we continue in the same rate that we’re seeing now,” Harris added.

Alabama attributed 7,182 deaths in 2020 to COVID-19, with another 6,026 blamed on the disease so far this year. Double-digit deaths are being recorded most days in the state in recent months, with 60 deaths being reported on some recent days.

The state is dealing with a crisis state officials pin in part on the COVID-19 pandemic, with intensive care unit beds being filled with patients, including people with the disease. The situation could get worse: Alabama has already been hit by the federal government’s rationing of monoclonal antibodies, one of the best available treatments for COVID-19 patients.

COVID-19 is the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

Twenty-four other states also logged more deaths than births in 2020, according to preliminary data analyzed by Kenneth Johnson, a senior demographer at the University of New Hampshire.

That included states in virtually every part of the country. Among them were Oregon, Arizona, Michigan, West Virginia, Florida, and Vermont.

According to federal data released in May, the United States recorded the lowest number of births since 1979. Just 3.6 million babies were born in the country in 2020, representing a 4 percent drop from 2019.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news and stories relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is based in Maryland.