Sunday, October 16, 2011

Baby Bust? Don't Panic

The ongoing decline in births has made headlines in the past few days, following the release of a Pew Research Center analysis. I reported on the trend months ago (see this post).

Here are the facts: The number of births in the United States fell to 4,007,000 in 2010, 7 percent below the all-time high of 4,316,233 births in 2007. Not to worry, however. This is the smallest number of births only since...1999. Yes, that's right. In the overall scheme of things, we're still pretty much in the normal see-saw range. Compare this decline with the one that occurred from the peak of the baby boom (4.3 million births in 1957) to the trough of the baby bust (3.1 million births in 1973), a 27 percent drop.

Thanks to the Great Recession, we are likely in the first years of baby bust. But we have a long way to go before this bust is as deep as the one that produced Generation X.

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