Fertility Rates and the Economy

In a report released on October 12, the Pew Research Center presented a correlation between fertility rates and the state of the economy; when the economy began to worsen in 2008 so did fertility rates in the United States. In 2007, births were at an all-time high, with 4,316,2333 that year. Ever since, births have been declining although the overall U.S. population continues to grow.
In an analysis of individual states, the Pew Research Center found that those states with the highest levels of economic distress in 2007 and 2008 were likely to have larger drops in fertility rates from 2008 to 2009 than were less affected states. In 2007 there were 69.6 births per thousand women of childbearing age (14 to 55 years old). By 2009 this number had dropped to 66.7. Of all racial groups, Hispanics experienced the largest decline in fertility rates. Hispanics were especially hard hit by the recession in general, particularly in terms of employment and household wealth. Much of the decline in births since 2007 may be due to the decision to postpone having children. According to the Pew Research Center, people may not actually be choosing to have fewer children but may just be choosing to wait to reproduce until the economy has stabilized.

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