I wonder what the real reasons are. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2358813/Baby-bust-National-birthrate-hit-time-low-weak-economic-recovery.html
The recession has been over for four years, but the birth rate in the U.S. continues to fall as many people struggle with a sluggish economy and financial uncertainty.
According to a recent analysis by the Pew Institute, since 2007 when there were a record 4,316,233 births, the number of births has been steadily declining, with 4,007,000 births in 2012 - the lowest number since 1998.
Analysts say that the birthrate is dictated by the economy.
Baby bust: The U.S. national birthrate hit an all-time low in 2011 and didn't pick up in 2012
'When times are up, births go up,' D’Vora Cohn, a senior writer at Pew Research Center, told Today. 'When times are bad, births go down.'
Despite the recession being officially over for four years, the weak recovery and economic uncertainty has resulted in the national birthrate hitting an all-time low in 2011, and staying there in 2012.
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There were 63.2 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44 in 2012, according to the Center for Disease Control, down from 69.3 births per 1,000 women in that age bracket in 2007.
The connection between the economy and birthrates generally holds true, but there are often other factors at play as well.
Financial insecurity: With economic uncertainty ahead, it seems many women are opting to postpone motherhood
Data: The CDC's births and fertility rates graph shows a high in 2007 and an all-time low in 2011, remaining steady for 2012
According to Jonathan Last, author of 'What to Expect When No One’s Expecting: America’s Coming Demography Disaster,' for decades the national birthrate has been generally much lower than during the Baby Boom years of the '50s and '60s.
He says that factors such as higher education levels have seen women giving birth later in life and sometimes having less children overall.
'It’s going to be fascinating to see,' Last told Today. 'Did the recession just exacerbate trends, or did it really put its thumb on the scale and move people into depressing fertility rates?'
Some couples are missing their window of opportunity to have a baby because they never feel financially secure enough to commit to having a child.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that a middle-income two-parent family will spend $234,900 raising a child - not including college.
Baby bounce-back: Experts are unsure whether the birthrate will increase in line with the economy
For many middle-class people, parenting in the way they want - including all the trappings of a new baby such as Bugaboo prams and expensive classes and childcare for older children - is a costly and sometimes unaffordable task.
For lower income people, the expense of a baby could push families below the poverty line.
The birthrate among single women dropped substantially, as did the rate for young women in their teens and early 20s.
However, the birthrate actually increased slightly for older women in their early 40s, and remained the same for women in their 30s.
Bucking the trend: The birthrate for women in their 30s remained the same for 2012, and increased slightly for women in their early 40s
Experts say the reason for this is that older women are generally more financially secure, and for women in their 40s, the ticking of a biological clock is often louder than economic concerns.
Researchers say that during times of recession, the birthrate goes down, but as the economy picks up, women begin to have babies.
'The net effect in the past has been that you had about the same amount of babies… but they were just born a little later,' Cohn told Today.
However, with the weak economy, the different ways women are thinking about parenthood and the general trend towards fewer births, it's unclear whether the numbers will be made up this time.
'History teaches us that there will be a bounce back. But whether it will be a full recovery, I don’t know,' said Cohn.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2358813/Baby-bust-National-birthrate-hit-time-low-weak-economic-recovery.html#ixzz2YfXUrnIT
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