Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Decline in Births Now Equals Great Depression Drop

Since peaking in 2007, the annual number of births in the United States has fallen 10.7 percent. This number has significance: it is equal to the decline in births that occurred during the Great Depression. Among Hispanics and non-Hispanic Whites, the decline has been even greater...

Number of births by race and Hispanic origin in 2017 (and percent change since 2007)
Total: 3,853,472 (–10.7)
Asian: 249,214 (–2.1%)
Black: 560,560 (–10.6%)
Hispanic: 897,518 (–15.5%)
Non-Hispanic White: 1,991,348 (–13.8%)

But the current birth decline differs from the Great Depression decline in two ways. One, the Great Depression decline occurred over a four-year period while the current decline is ten years old and counting. Two, the Great Depression decline ended as the economy improved while the current decline has deepened with the improving economy. According to the Center for Retirement Research, the ongoing decline in the midst of a booming economy suggests that we may be in "a slow drift" to the low fertility levels of some other developed countries.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Birth Data

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