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Can Americans Not Afford to Have Babies Anymore?

By Lauren Jimeson |

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.



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About Lauren Jimeson


Lauren Jimeson

Lauren Jimeson is the author of A Mommy in the City, which chronicles living the city life with a suburban mentality. Read bio and latest posts → Read Lauren's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “Can Americans Not Afford to Have Babies Anymore?

  1. Donna says:

    I totally agree. I have put off having baby #2. Forget about 2 in diapers….it is more like 2 in preschool/daycare and then later 2 in college at the same time. I guess I am a planner but I really want to have enough to provide to my children and have enough so my husband and I can live comfortably.

  2. Danielle says:

    I agree, I know many people out if work right now and having a child is not free. Hubby and I can’t wait to have Baby#2 but have also put it on hold until I am rehired. I think the cost of daycare and pre-school for one is crazy, never mind two. We also want our children to have a comfortable life and spacing them out a little will give us an opportunity to save a little more money. For now, it gives us something to look forward to and a little more one on one time with our daughter.

  3. Erin Human says:

    If DH & I were younger we would have waited longer to have baby #2, but we don’t really have 5 years to wait. I am definitely nervous about how we’re going to swing it, but baby’s already on his way. If I were 20something and still waiting to have my first? No doubt I would wait a little longer.

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