Chart Of The Day: Economics And Fertility
Via Calculated Risk, comes this chart showing that the Great Recession has impacted more than just people’s pocketbooks:
The NCHS reports that U.S. births declined to 4.136 million in 2009, from 4.247 million in 2008. The birth rate declined to 13.5 from 13.9 in 2008 (births per 1000 total population).
Births have declined for two consecutive years, and are now 4.2% below the peak in 2007. I suspect certain segments of the population were under stress before the recession started – like construction workers – and even more families were in distress in 2008 and 2009. Of course it takes 9 months to have a baby, so families in distress in 2009 probably put off having babies in 2010 too.
Notice that the number of births started declining a number of years before the Great Depression started. Many families in the 1920s were under severe stress long before the economy collapsed. By 1933 births were down by almost 23% from the early ’20s levels.
There could be other reasons for the decline in births, of course, including demographics, but the fact that the 2007 decline came at a time with the birth rate was on an up-tick argues strongly that families in financial distress, or even financial uncertainty, are putting off having children,