From RealTrends.com: Twenty-Somethings Postpone Having Babies
USA Today picked up on that theme in their article Americans put off having babies amid poor economy Twenty-somethings who postponed having babies because of the poor economy are still hesitant to jump in to parenthood — an unexpected consequence that has dropped the USA’s birthrate to its lowest point in 25 years.
As the economy tanked, the average number of births per woman fell 12% from a peak of 2.12 in 2007. Demographic Intelligence projects the rate to hit 1.87 this year and 1.86 next year — the lowest since 1987.
The less-educated and Hispanics have experienced the biggest birthrate decline while the share of U.S. births to college-educated, non-Hispanic whites and Asian Americans have grown.
The effect of this economic slump on birthrates has been more rapid and long-lasting than any downturn since the Great Depression. Many young adults are unemployed, carrying big student loan debt and often forced to move back in with their parents — factors that may make them think twice about starting a family.
“The more you delay it, the more you delay the possibility of a second or third child,” says Stephanie Coontz, director of research and public education at the Council on Contemporary Families. “This is probably a long-term trend that is exacerbated by the recession but also by the general hollowing out of middle-class jobs. There’s a growing sense that college is prohibitively expensive, and yet your kids can’t make it without a college degree,” so many women may decide to have just one child.
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