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May 7, 2021Jefferson City, Mo. |  By: AP

Deaths outpaced births in Missouri; COVID-19 played a role

More people in Missouri died in 2020 than were born, a rarity that was due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a provisional report from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services says the "natural decrease" was the first for a complete year in 110 years.

natural increase or decrease in population is determined by subtracting the number of deaths from the number of live births.

State data shows there were 4,555 more deaths than births in Missouri last year. Deaths in December rose 50% over December 2019 "as the COVID pandemic peaked in mortality."