US births down for 3rd year; economy may be factor

Jun 15, 2011 By MIKE STOBBE , AP Medical Writer

(AP) -- U.S. births apparently have declined for a third year in a row, probably because of the weak economy.

Births had been on the rise for years, and the number hit an all-time high of more than 4.3 million in 2007.

But the count has been dropping since then. Last year, it fell 3 percent to slightly more than 4 million births, according to preliminary figures released Wednesday by the .

It's possible the decline is leveling off: The falling birth rate seemed to bottom out in October, November and December. However, it's too early to say whether that marks an end to the trend, said Paul Sutton, a demographer who was the report's lead author.

The report is a first glimpse at 2010 births from state health departments. It doesn't include an actual review of certificates or specifics about what's going on in different groups of women. The CDC plans to do more analysis later.

However, the number usually is pretty close to the final statistics, officials said.

Experts believe the downward trend is tied to the economy, which officially was in a from December 2007 until June 2009 and is still flagging. The theory is that women who are unemployed or have other money problems feel they can't afford to start a family or add to it.

In 2008 and 2009, the only increase in births was in women older than 40 - considered more sensitive to the ticking of their biological clocks.

A drop in immigration to the United States, blamed on the weak job market, may be another factor in last year's decline.

" have higher ," explained Dr. Roger Rochat, an Emory University researcher who has studied fertility and abortion trends.

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More information: CDC report: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs

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Vendicar_Decarian
not rated yet Jun 15, 2011
"The theory is that women who are unemployed or have other money problems feel they can't afford to start a family or add to it." - article

How can this be, when the state has been 1.5 trillion dollars generous this time around and when Libertarians are constantly telling me that welfare and jobless benefits cause the vermin - who are deserving only of extinction - to breed uncontrollably?

Can someone explain this discontinuity between reality and the Libertarian perspective?

emsquared
not rated yet Jun 15, 2011
Can someone explain this discontinuity between reality and the Libertarian perspective?

I think part of the problem here is that the article's statement: "...women who are unemployed or have other money problems feel they can't afford to start a family or add to it."
... is patently false.

It's well known and studied that the reproductive rates of those in the impoverished and lower-levels of education categories are significantly higher than those of the more affluent or higher-levels of education categories.

http://en.wikiped...lligence

I doubt this recession has changed that.

So if it was demonstrable that welfare and jobless benefits perpetuate poverty and poor education (which I don't believe it is), only then would the Libertarians be correct.
emsquared
not rated yet Jun 15, 2011
I should amend the above, the article isn't equating "women who are unemployed or have other money problems" to poverty or lack of education in so many words, so I can't really site that trend relevant to your question.

However, I think my assertion still stands that the idea that "welfare and jobless benefits cause the vermin - who are deserving only of extinction - to breed uncontrollably" would only be accurate if welfare and jobless benefits were proven to perpetuate poverty and poor education.

But to answer your question, VD, there likely is no discontinuity in the Libertarians mind because they likely equate welfare and jobless benefits to perpetuators of poverty.

And the only reality ultimately proven above is that a poor economy pushes down birthrates. Independent of the macro-economic trends, I suspect women "who have money problems" probably generally have higher reproductive rates.