Friday, October 14, 2011

Study: Economic Woes Cause Birth Rate to Fall

The sour economy is being blamed on a sharp decline in births in the country. An analysis by Pew Research Center found that since a 2007 record of 4,316,233 births in the U.S., fertility rates have been steadily falling--even though the nation’s population continues to grow. In reviewing preliminary data from 2009, Pew found that births dropped to 4,131,018 in 2009--which is the lowest number since 2004--and that births were even lower in 2010 at 4,007,000. In all states, Pew found fertility declines occurred within one to two years of the beginning of economic declines. States facing the greatest economic hardships were found to have the largest drop in fertility rates, while states that had only minor economic declines were found to have smaller declines in fertility rates, according to Pew. By race and ethnicity, Pew found that Hispanics had the largest drop in fertility rates. Hispanics also have been one of the hardest hit racial groups in the recession with sinking employment levels and household wealth. Birth rates dropped by 5.9 percent among Hispanic women from 2008 to 2009 compared to dropping 2.4 percent among black women and only 1.6 percent among white women. Source: “In a Down Economy, Fewer Births,” Pew Research Center (Oct. 12, 2011)

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