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The New York Times reports this morning on a new report from the Pew Research Center saying that “birth rates in the United States declined sharply during the recession ... According to preliminary data from 2010, the rates dropped to 64.7 births per thousand women ages 15 to 44, from 69.6 births per thousand women in 2007, the year the recession began.”

According to the Times, “the link between financial distress and lower rates of childbirth surfaced clearly in the regional data. North Dakota, with one of the lowest unemployment rates in 2008, about 3 percent, was one of two states to show a slight increase in its birth rate from 2008 to 2009. The other was Maine.”

Every other state saw a birth rate decrease, with Arizona showing the steepest decline at 7.2 percent.



In all other states, birth rates declined, said Gretchen Livingston, the lead author of the report. Arizona had the deepest decline in its birth rate, down by 7.2 percent.

Historical precedent suggests that the birth rate is likely to pick up when the economy improves. “What people seem to be doing is not so much deciding not to have children, but postponing until things start to recover,” says Gretchen Livingston, lead author of the report.
KC's View:
Of course, the way things are going, that may not happen until the beginning of the 2020’s. This could be a lost decade in more ways than one.