The Economy Stunts Employment and Birth Rates

by Jose Beede

The Economy Stunts Employment and Birth Rates

The current economic downturn isn't only preventing Americans from finding jobs, but it's also keeping couples from having babies. Fertility analytics firm Demographic Intelligence recently reported that prospective moms in their 20s are holding off on pregnancy because of the country's financial situation, according to USA Today. The company, which is based out of Charlottesville, Va., carefully tracks fertility trends, which ultimately affect the sales of baby supplies.

In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that there were about 4 million live births in 2010, a 3 percent decline from the year before. In addition, both the general and total fertility rates decreased during the same time period.

The birthrate was lowest among undereducated adults and Hispanic individuals, compared to the prevalence of births among college-educated, Caucasian and Asian populations, which has increased.

"What that tells you is that births have clearly been affected by the economy," company president Sam Sturgeon, president of Demographic Intelligence, told the newspaper. "And like any recession, it doesn't hit all people equally, and it hit some people much harder than others."

In the past, one thing that has helped the U.S. maintain higher birthrates is immigration. However, the birthrate among the Latino populations decreased from an average of 3 children per woman in 2007 to around 2.4 in 2010, according to the news source. Although such a statistic may not seem significant, Hispanic births represent approximately 25 percent of all babies born in the United States.

Overall, the average number of births per American woman decreased by 12 percent. Demographic Intelligence estimates that the rate will bottom out at 1.87 in 2012 and 1.86 in 2013, which is the lowest the country has seen since 1987.

What are your thoughts on the declining birthrate in the United States? Has the economy affected your decision to have a baby? Leave your answers in the comments section!