Birth rates fell in the United States last year for the first time in a decade, according to the New York Times.
Why? It’s the economy, stupid. Sociologists are blaming the recession. It’s no secret that kids are costly, and with many families having a parent out of work, experts think people are putting off having kids until they get onto more stable financial footing.
Birth rates typically fall during hard economic times. The record lows for the 20th century came during the Depression of the 1930s and the oil crises of the 1970s. The economy is in worse shape now than it was in during the 70s slump, and predictably birth rates are already sinking.
While birth rates are trending down, the Ocean City tourism department has some creative ideas about how to encourage their guests to get busy making babies.
It’s been a baby boom around my neighborhood lately. Half a dozen friends have given birth in the past year, and I know four pregnant women now. We’ve all been joking about the “Obama babies”, since so many of the women in my circle got knocked up within a few months of last year’s election. But apparently we’re the exception, not the rule.
How about you? Are you waiting for the economy to recover before having your next baby? How does the recession factor into your family planning?
Photo: Beatrice Murch