Birth rate down in fast-growing Utah County, echoing trends

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(AP) – The county that boasts the highest birth rate in the nation’s fastest-growing state has produced fewer babies in recent years, following U.S. trends amid still-lingering economic woes.

The Daily Herald newspaper in Provo reports ( that county health officials say just over 11,000 babies had been born in there as of mid-December, down more than 600 births compared to the year-end total in 2015.

The 2015 numbers also marked a declined from the year before, when more than 12,000 babies were born.

But Utah County’s 21.3 births-per-capita in 2015 still far outstripped the national average of 12.5.

Gynecologist Jeff Thorpe says the decreases could be related to family economics or the divisive national election, but local doctors are nevertheless staying busy.

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