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24% of U.S. Counties Report More Deaths than Births

Last year, more people died than were born in nearly one-quarter of all U.S. counties, a new study shows.

red barn rural scene

This trend, known as natural decrease, is the result of younger people moving away, as well as decreases in fertility levels. Researchers from the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) also found that rural areas are particularly hard hit by natural population decrease, which is taking a toll on local schools, hospitals and other family services.

The study showed that last year, “24 percent of all U.S. counties experienced natural decrease. And, for the first time in U.S. history, deaths now exceed births in an entire state [West Virginia],” Kenneth Johnson, senior demographer with the Carsey Institute and professor of sociology at UNH, said in a university news release.

The link to the full HealthDay News story can be found at: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_113354.html . Go to http://www.carseyinstitute.unh.edu/CarseySearch/search.php?id=163 for the complete study published by the UNH Carsey Institute.

[Photo credit: townofdunkirk.com]

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