October 14th, 2011
Econintersect: The Pew Research Center reports that The Great Recession has had a dramatic impact on the birth rate compared to 2007, the last year before the recession hit with full force. That year saw a record number of births in the U.S. as 4,316,233 newborns arrived. The provisional data for 2010 indicates that a few thousand over 4 million babies were born, a decline of about 7%. If that number is the final one, 2010 birth rate would be back to the low reached in the last recession and the year following, 2001 and 2002. Follow up:
Follow up:Pew found that economics and birth rates have a tight correlation, as shown in the graph:
The Pew report finds further evidence that economic distress correlates to lower birth rates:
A state-level look at fertility illustrates the strength of the correlation between lower birth rates and economic distress. States experiencing the largest economic declines in 2007 and 2008 were most likely to experience relatively large fertility declines from 2008 to 2009, the analysis finds. States with relatively minor economic declines were likely to experience relatively small declines.
For example, North Dakota, which experienced one of the nation’s lowest unemployment rates (3.1%) in 2008, was the only state to show even a slight increase (0.7%) in births from 2008 to 2009. All other states and the District of Columbia experienced either no change, or declines, in births during that period.
Interestingly, the biological clock syndrome overcame the economic distress factors. Birth rates declined for all age groups from 15-39, but went up significantly for women over 40.