Recession may have pushed US birth rate to new low

Recession may have pushed US birth rate to new low (AP)
Graphic shows number of births in the U.S. since 1930.

The U.S. birth rate has dropped for the second year in a row, and experts think the wrenching recession led many people to put off having children. The 2009 birth rate also set a record: lowest in a century.

Births fell 2.7 percent last year even as the population grew, numbers released Friday by the National Center for Health Statistics show.

"It's a good-sized decline for one year. Every month is showing a decline from the year before," said Stephanie Ventura, the demographer who oversaw the report.

The , which takes into account changes in the population, fell to 13.5 births for every 1,000 people last year. That's down from 14.3 in 2007 and way down from 30 in 1909, when it was common for people to have big families.

"It doesn't matter how you look at it - fertility has declined," Ventura said.

The situation is a striking turnabout from 2007, when more babies were born in the United States than any other year in the nation's history. The began that fall, dragging stocks, jobs and births down.

"When the economy is bad and people are uncomfortable about their financial future, they tend to postpone having children. We saw that in the the 1930s and we're seeing that in the Great Recession today," said Andrew Cherlin, a sociology professor at Johns Hopkins University.

"It could take a few years to turn this around," he added, noting that the rate stayed low throughout the 1930s.

Another possible factor in the drop: a decline in immigration to the United States.

The downward trend invites worrisome comparisons to Japan and its lost decade of choked growth in the 1990s and very low birth rates. Births in Japan fell 2 percent in 2009 after a slight rise in 2008, its government has said.

Not so in Britain, where the population took its biggest jump in almost half a century last year and the fertility rate is at its highest level since 1973. France's birth rate also has been rising; Germany's birth rate is lower but rising as well.

"Our birth rate is still higher than the birth rate in many wealthy countries and we also have many immigrants entering the country. So we do not need to be worried yet about a birth dearth" that would crimp the nation's ability to take care of its growing elderly population, Cherlin said.

The new U.S. report is a rough count of births from states. It estimates there were 4,136,000 births in 2009, down from 4,251,095 in 2008 and more than 4.3 million in 2007.

The report does not give details on trends in different age groups. That will come next spring and will give a clearer picture who is and is not having children, Ventura said.

Last spring's report, on births in 2008, showed an overall drop but a surprising rise in births to women over 40, who may have felt they were running out of time to have children and didn't want to delay despite the bad economy.

Women postponing having children because of careers also may find they have trouble conceiving, said Mark Mather of the Population Reference Bureau, a Washington-based demographic research group.

"For some of those women, they're going to find themselves in their mid-40s where it's going to be hard to have the number of children they want," he said.

Heather Atherton is nearing that mark. The Sacramento, Calif., mom, who turns 36 next month, started a home-based public relations business after having a baby girl in 2003. She and her husband upgraded to a larger home in 2005 and planned on having a second child not long afterward. Then the recession hit, drying up her husband's sales commissions and leaving them owing more on their home than it is worth. A second child seemed too risky financially.

"However, we just recently decided that it's time to stop waiting and just go for it early next year and let the chips fall where they may," she said. "We can't allow the recession to dictate the size of our family. We just need to move forward with our lives."

More information: CDC report: www.cdc.gov/nchs
Birth trends: tinyurl.com/28b2gjc

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Aug 27, 2010
Question,

I don't know, this is no where near good enough yet imo, that's hardly a dent. That and referring to this absurdly irrelevant dip as a 'new low' is sad in itself.

I would like to see birth rates fall at least 50% from where they are now.

Aug 27, 2010
Now I know why progressives are destroying the US economy and reducing a lot of people to poverty, to reduce the US birth rate.

Aug 27, 2010
Question,

I don't know, this is no where near good enough yet imo, that's hardly a dent. That and referring to this absurdly irrelevant dip as a 'new low' is sad in itself.

I would like to see birth rates fall at least 50% from where they are now.


50 % reduction would be surely too much. Just a little dip in fertility rate and some immigrant restrictions are all that is needed for achieving stable population.

Aug 27, 2010
Ah progressive trash talking generalizations, only responsible people are postponing... So people who have stable jobs who can feed their kids arn't responsible?

Aug 28, 2010
Question,

I don't know, this is no where near good enough yet imo, that's hardly a dent. That and referring to this absurdly irrelevant dip as a 'new low' is sad in itself.

I would like to see birth rates fall at least 50% from where they are now.

You'd watch every social program and government revenue drop to a low or you'd see taxation skyrocket to afford infrastructure. It wouldn't necessarily be a good thing to see the birth rate plummet unless immigration greatly increased in response, which typically is what happens.

And get ready for another big market correction downwards. As the BB generation retires and withdraws all those private investments, the younger generations won't be able to put as much money in the stock market as is being taken out. Marjon, privatization of SS would destroy the economy unless you had successivly larger and larger generations of workers. That is an entirely untenable situation.

Aug 28, 2010
SH: While a 50% reduction in the birthrate would be extreme a replacement birthrate or slow growth would be ideal.
Agreed.
Can you imagine what it will be like in about 50 year when our population will be doubled,
It won't be 50 years, we're looking more like 25 at the current rates.
That is why places like Haiti are in the dumpster and cannot see any way out as far as one can see into the future.
Well that's not true. Haiti is a dumpster because the inhabitants are completely uneducated for the most part. Most Haitians are illiterate. Illiteracy leads to higher birth rates and greater mortality. If you want to slow birth rates, push education. Wealth and lowered reproduction follow according to ALL statistics.
How? There is real money that is being invested in the economy, not the government.

With every generation retiring you'd be removing massive amounts of money from the economy. Without replacement from a larger workforce, the economy dies

Aug 28, 2010
SH: You are mistaken if you think a larger and larger work force is needed to support people in retirement. Did you ever hear of automation? That is what will support them and increase the standard of living for the workers who are supporting them at the same time!

Don't assume my stance in that manner please. I'm speaking only in terms of the current system. If you want to do it properly, you don't privatize retirement, you simply don't offer it and allow individuals to take care of it themselves. My comments above were directed at Marjon's questioning why a privatized retirement schedule wouldn't work.

Aug 28, 2010
"The 2009 birth rate also set a record: lowest in a century."

Your graph at the top disagrees with you.

Aug 28, 2010
See, recessions really do have a good side.


Don't say that too soon. If the economy is influencing people's decisions to have kids, its only those who were already financially stable and/or educated. It probably didn't effect the mothers with 12 kids on welfare already or the influx of illegals having kids here. Those groups tend not to care or put effort into their kids, leaving them to drop out of school and roam the streets as vagrants.

Aug 28, 2010
One of the major reason Hati is such a slum is corruption and lack of education. Problem is Progressive governments tend to be and become the most corrupt governments around.

So the US is safe... oh wait... :)

Aug 28, 2010
One of the major reason Hati is such a slum is corruption and lack of education.


That's two reasons...

Aug 29, 2010
One of the major reason Hati is such a slum is corruption and lack of education. Problem is Progressive governments tend to be and become the most corrupt governments around.

So the US is safe... oh wait... :)

Haiti has a very conservative government with a laize faire legal system. Do you just call everything you don't like "progressive?"

Aug 29, 2010
Busted on one reason then giving two...

SH - poor research again...
-------------------------------------------
February 2004, an armed rebellion forced the resignation and exile of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and a provisional government took control with security provided by the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). Rene Preval, the current president, was elected in the Haitian general election, 2006.
-------------------------------------

SH- if you consider the UN a bastion of conservatism, you must be a flaiming leftist progressive.

A corrupt country cannot be conservative, as conservatives believe in rule of law and equal application of law. In a corrupt country paying bribes, or knowing the right friends gets you different treatment.

Corruption and lack of education are hallmarks of progressivism, which leads countries into poverty.

Aug 29, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Aug 29, 2010
SH- if you consider the UN a bastion of conservatism, you must be a flaiming leftist progressive.
The UN doesn't seem to have an opinion, it follows whatever is the largest group on the opinion poll. Hence ridiculous statements like the UN anti-blasphemy regulations, which smells of theocracy.That being said, Preval is an agrarian conservative. He's big into privatization.
A corrupt country cannot be conservative, as conservatives believe in rule of law and equal application of law.

I rest my case, you are delusional.

Aug 29, 2010
You know what else has a factor for people not having kids? Education. If people are going to college and staying in school longer, time will be dedicated to studies rather than kids.

Plus contraceptives i.e. condoms and birth controls keeps the fun of sex and limits baby making :)

Aug 30, 2010
not a shred of evidence linking the lower birthrate to what the real cause is -- all of the chemicals and intentionally soft-kill fertility lowering devices our government and big business have been using for decades. Our population would be shrinking if it weren't for our governments offering immigrants all of the best jobs at reduced pay and free tax supported training to lure them here with.

Aug 30, 2010
Are you trying to be funny or are you actually that paranoid? If you are you should get off the internet since that's how "they" will find you.

Our population would be shrinking if it weren't for our governments offering immigrants all of the best jobs at reduced pay and free tax supported training to lure them here with.


Provide a specific example of this.

Aug 31, 2010
SH- The UN doesn't seem to have an opinion, it follows whatever is the largest group on the opinion poll.

You must think most of the world is conservative? Sorry, I forgot, from your prospective, most of the world is more conservative than you.

Seriously, character, law, and responsibility are a conservative trait. Don't believe me, when was the last time you heard of a riot at a conservative rally?

The truth and progressives and progressive ideology don't get along very well. Anyone who knows history will soon find this out.

Aug 31, 2010
You must think most of the world is conservative?
No, sorry. I think most of the world is rather agnostic when it comes to financial policy of their parent nation. I also think the maj0ority of people don't have the time or will to even engage in the conversation.
Sorry, I forgot, from your prospective, most of the world is more conservative than you.
Actually, you're far more progressive than I am. You're simply trying to progress to a form of serfdom we abolished over 400 years ago.

Seriously, character, law, and responsibility are a conservative trait. Don't believe me, when was the last time you heard of a riot at a conservative rally?
So you've forgetten about the hard hat riots? The riots in Cuba, the convservative riots in Iran, the continued conservative riots in Jordan, etc, etc, etc. So ignorant.
Anyone who knows history will soon find this out.
Well that wouldn't be you. You're largely ignorant of history.

Aug 31, 2010
Again, SH - Progressives have a hard time speaking the truth, and to hide lies keep changing terms and twisting meanings.

Comaparing the riots in Iran and Jordan to conservatives here is very inaccurate. More akin to WTO riots in Seattle and other riots staged by progressives here in the US.


Aug 31, 2010
Again, SH - Progressives have a hard time speaking the truth, and to hide lies keep changing terms and twisting meanings.

Comaparing the riots in Iran and Jordan to conservatives here is very inaccurate. More akin to WTO riots in Seattle and other riots staged by progressives here in the US.


You said
Seriously, character, law, and responsibility are a conservative trait. Don't believe me, when was the last time you heard of a riot at a conservative rally?
You are obviously wrong and I've demonstrated such. Are you ready to be a big boy and say those 3 magic words that begin an actual conversation, or do I need to drill it further into your head that your definitions are entirely false? I'll start calling you marjon if you prefer.

Sep 04, 2010
Sure is becoming difficult to defend basic knowledge and reason this day and age.
So far Skeptic you've got an A for effort; they've put up a pretty nasty fight.
I can only assume it makes one stronger?

Sep 04, 2010
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