ATLANTA (AP) -- There's more evidence that U.S. births may be leveling off after years of decline.
The number of babies born last year only slipped a little. And preliminary government figures released Friday indicate that trend continued for the first six months of this year.
U.S. births rose after the late 1990s and hit an all-time high of more than 4.3 million in 2007. But then they started dropping each year.
Experts said the bad economy caused many women or couples to feel they couldn't afford to start or add to their family.
But the economy improved and the new data may signal births are stabilizing.