Profile America: Birth Registration

Barack Obama Certification Of Live Birth – State of Hawaii. Credit:

Monday, December 18th. This month in 1823, Georgia became the first state to enact a birth registration law. It required county clerks to record in a book the dates of birth of all new Georgians upon obtaining satisfactory proof by way of affidavit or sworn oaths.

Enumerations of people go back to antiquity, but births were little noted outside of family and church records, and the memory of neighbors. This informal method held true until Georgia’s action in 1823, which by 1919 were mirrored in all states. However, not until the 1930s was a standard registration system adopted throughout the country. In America today, babies are born, and nearly universally certified, at a rate of about eight per minute.

You can find more facts about America’s people, places and economy, from the American Community Survey here.

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