Baby Boom Slowing Down
Seems like the weak economy has had an effect on everything else, so why not child birth? Maybe couples are deciding that the financial burden just isn't worth it. Maybe others, like me, have decided that further burden on our already scarce resources will push us into a global crisis.
Whatever the reason, I'm happy to see that the U.S. birthrate has fallen. It hit a high mark in 2007, at 4.3 million babies.
Now, births in the US have fallen 4 years in a row. We've hit a new low in teenage births, too, which is great news no matter the time or reason.
In 2011, there were approximately 3.8 million births. That's the lowest in 14 years.
People much smarter than me say the poor economy has had a lot to do with this decline. A professor at Columbia University says teens see struggles and decisions that older sisters and girlfriends are making, which influences their thoughts and actions. He says young adults are less influenced by the economy than they are those who surround them.
From the article in the Wall Street Journal:
—The birth rate for single women fell for the third straight year, dropping by 3 percent from 2010 to 2011. The birth rate for married women, however, rose 1 percent. In most cases, married women are older and more financially secure.
—The birth rate for Hispanic women dropped a whopping 6 percent. But it declined only 2 percent for black women, stayed the same for whites and actually rose a bit for Asian-American and Pacific Islanders.
—Birth rates fell again for women in their early 20s, down 5 percent from 2010 — the lowest mark for women in that age group since 1940, when comprehensive national birth records were first compiled. For women in their late 20s, birth rates fell 1 percent.
—But birth rates held steady for women in their early 30s, and rose for moms ages 35 and older. Experts say that's not surprising: Older women generally have better jobs or financial security, and are more sensitive to the ticking away of their biological clocks.