Friday, September 06, 2013

Baby Bust Update: 8% Birth Decline

According to preliminary estimates for 2012, the baby bust continues but the decline is slowing. The nation's 2012 fertility rate was 63.0 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44, the lowest on record and 9.4 percent below the 2007 high of 69.5. The fertility rate of women under age 30 is at a record low, but the rate among women aged 30 to 34 climbed slightly between 2011 and 2012 as those who had been postponing childbearing played catchup.

Overall, 3,952,937 babies were born in 2012. This was 8.4 percent below the 4,316,233 born in the peak birth year of 2007. So far, the Great Recession baby bust is not as deep as the 10.7 percent Great Depression bust, and it's not likely to reach that level because the decline is slowing. For some perspective, keep in mind that the decline in births from the peak year of the baby boom in 1957 to the trough year of the baby bust (Generation X) in 1973 was a much larger 27 percent.

Number (and percent distribution) of births by race and Hispanic origin in 2012
Total: 3,952,937 (100.0%)
Asian: 272,949 (6.9%)
Black: 583,080 (14.8%)
Hispanic: 907,405 (23.0%)
Non-Hispanic white: 2,133,115 (54.0%)

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Births: Preliminary Data for 2012

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