Too Broke for Babies: U.S. Birth Rates Drop Because Money’s Tight

October 5, 2012  |  

Image: Thinkstock

In addition to the unemployment rate, the US birth rate is also down. The rate has been dropping for four years; this year’s decline is  more modest one percent. Previous years have seen declines in the two to three percent range.

Why are women not birthing more babies? Because the economy makes it prohibitive.

“The theory is that many women or couples who are out of work, underemployed or have other money problems feel they can’t afford to start a family or add to it,” writes The Washington Post.

The report, courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also found that the birth rate for single women fell by three percent, the rate for married women is up one percent, and the rate for African Americans is down two percent. That last figure is far less than the six percent drop for Latinos, but the figure for whites stayed the same and for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders went up.

Good news: the rate for teen pregnancies has hit a low of 330,000, the fewest since 1946.  One expert, John Santelli, a Columbia University professor of population and family health, suggests that seeing older siblings and others struggle with having babies at a young age could be influencing that number.

Finally women in their 20s are having fewer babies (that rate is down five percent), the rate is the same for women in their early 30s and is up for women over the age of 35.

Separately but related, we wrote about a report yesterday that says babies are being born with debt. Times really are tight.
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  • It’s not like it going kill the planet if fewer people have babies, more like the opposite in fact

  • dbatt001

    its only the responsible thing to do

  • FromUR2UB

    That baby is so pretty, like a little doll! But, yes, children are expensive folks, if you spend the money where you should.

  • Candacey Doris

    Let’s compare costs. It takes about $300,000 to raise a child and about $300 for an IUD. I know which one people need to get.

  • That does not seem to be any evidence to show that this is the only reason for the decrease. I think there are quite a number of factors contributing to this decline, such as increased educational and skill attainment of women. However, my professor in undergrad did share that economic hardship has always influenced the birth rates of a population…and parents’ efforts to take care of their children’s well-being (subconsciously or consciously).

  • Ann

    I find that study quite hard to believe. With all the child support foolishess going on. They must fabricated this info.