U.S. Birth Rates Fall As Recession Continues

U.S. Birth Rates Fall As Recession Continues

U.S. Birth Rates Fall As Recession Continues

For the second consecutive year, the U.S. birth rate has declined.  According to a recent study, the trend began during late 2007, and coincided with the onset of the current recession.  Andrew Cherlin, a sociology professor at Johns Hopkins University, was not surprised at the findings.

Cherlin said that a decrease in birth rates is expected when people are uncertain of their financial futures.  He pointed to the Great Depression of the 1930’s as evidence.  Studies have shown that during the depression nearly 20% of all women never had children.  Cherlin said he expects that we will see that number during the current recession as well.

Just how much has the birth rate fallen?  In 2007, for every 1,000 people in the United States, there were 14.3 births.  A year later, in the midst of the recession, birth rates had fallen to 13.9 per 1,000 people.  In 2009, the birth rate tumbled even further as it ended up at 13.5 births for each 1,000 people.

Cherlin said that the country has seen this phenomenon throughout the years.  During each recession the nation has gone through, birth rates have fallen; however, he said that the impact is more noticeable now because of the breadth of the recession.  The length and the magnitude of the current economic crisis have made people put off having children until they feel secure again, the professor said.

Cherlin also noted that even once the recession ends, it will take a few years before birth rates come back to where they once were.


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