Friday, November 18, 2011

Birth Report Confirms Baby Bust

The number of births in 2010 fell to 4,000,279, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, 7 percent below the all-time high of 4,316,233 in 2007. So far, this baby bust is far smaller than the one that created Generation X. Between 1957 (the peak year of the baby boom) and 1973 (the low point of the baby bust), the number of births fell 27 percent.

Perhaps the most striking finding in the report is the sharp drop in the birth rate of young women. The rate for women aged 20 to 24 fell 6 percent between 2009 and 2010--to 90 births per 1,000 women. This is the lowest level ever recorded for the age group. The birth rate for women aged 25 to 29 fell 3 percent. The birth rate for women aged 30 to 39 declined slightly, and the birth rate for women aged 40 or older increased.

Older women cannot afford to wait. But young adults, under financial stress, are deciding to postpone having children until the economy improves.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Births: Preliminary Data for 2010

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