SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah still has the nation's highest birthrate, but the number of babies born has declined each of the past four years. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that new data from the Utah Department of Health shows that about 1,000 fewer babies were born in 2011 than the previous year.

It marks the first time there has been a decline four straight years since the 1980s. The 51,144 babies born in Utah last year were the fewest since 2004. The peak was 2008 when 55,605 babies were born in Utah. Intermountain Healthcare spokesman Daron Cowley says the decline in births is due to the economic recession.