U.S. births apparently have dropped for a third consecutive year, probably because of the weak economy. Before then births had been on the rise for many years– peaking with an all time high of 4.3 million in 2007.
But in 2010 births declined 3 percent to slightly more than 4 million births, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It doesn’t look more closely at who is and who is not having babies. This early number is, however, thought to be a good indicator of the final one.
Experts (and non-experts, too I would imagine) are guessing the economy is to blame. Unemployment has been high and various other financial problems are very real for many Americans. Between 2008-2009, the only group where there was *not* a decline in births was among moms older than 40, maybe because women at this age can’t risk waiting out a recession to conceive. Another reason for the drop may be a decrease in immigration due to less jobs in the US.
As a mother who had kids during peak boom years, I’ll say this. It was encouraging to be gestating during good times– financial anxiety seems inevitable when you’re about to start a family and it was nice to have the feeling (illusion) that things were on the up and up. But it was also kind of nuts to be swamped in baby-making– it seemed like *the* thing to do, which was weirdly annoying. Then actually quite distressing when kids were being turned away from public schools in my neighborhood due to overcrowding. And the competition to get into the others was a kind of fierce you never want to know.
Has the economy affected your baby-making choices?