The US experienced a mini baby boom in 2006, with the largest number of children born since the 1960s. The AP reports 4.3 million births that year, giving the US a higher birth rate than Europe, Australia, Canada, or Japan. Hispanics accounted for a quarter of all US births, but births rose across all ethnic groups.
"Americans like children. We are the only people who respond to prosperity by saying, 'Let's have another kid,'" one researcher said. It's not a boomlet yet, though the US fertility rate reached 2.1 children per woman—the number required for a population to replace itself. "We have to wait and see. For now, I would call it a noticeable blip," one statistician said.