New data released last week from the from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the U.S. birth rate dropped for the third year in a row. Many experts are blaming our economy for the drop in birth rates.
Having a baby is an added cost to any family, and with many families struggling just to get by financially in their day to day lives, a baby might make even more of a financial struggle.
So has the economy become our nation’s best form of birth control?
“I don’t think there’s any doubt now that it was the recession. It could not be anything else,” Carl Haub, a demographer with the Population Reference Bureau, a Washington, D.C.-based research organization, told the Associated Press.
Rates were at an all time low among young women, making it the lowest the CDC has seen since record-keeping began in the 1940′s. For teens, the birth rates fell 9 percent since 2009. Unmarried mothers saw a 4 percent drop while women in their 20s fell 6 percent.
The Associated Press reports that the theory is young women are feeling the money pressure more than ever which makes them feel less qualified financially to start a family or to add another child to the family.
Financial concerns were the first thing my husband and I spoke about when we decided to try for our second child. Living in New York City can definitely take a chunk out of your wallet and we aren’t living any luxurious lives like the ones depicted on Gossip Girl. We know the cost of diapers, clothes, baby gear, and more significantly in NYC is the preschool tuition.
With all of these factors on our plates, we carefully went over a budget to see if adding one more little one in our lives was possible. I truly believe that it is best to be financially prepared for a child before trying to bring one into this world. I want my children to grow up as comfortable as possible and if that couldn’t happen, then we would have to put off having a second for another couple of years.
Although you know the outcome from our budgeting, that doesn’t mean that I am care free as I bring another child into the world. With our economy struggling the way it is, I think it can leave any family, expecting or not, a little concerned.