Recession may have pushed US birth rate to new low

Aug 27, 2010 By MARILYNN MARCHIONE , AP Medical Writer
Graphic shows number of births in the U.S. since 1930.

The U.S. birth rate has dropped for the second year in a row, and experts think the wrenching recession led many people to put off having children. The 2009 birth rate also set a record: lowest in a century.

Births fell 2.7 percent last year even as the population grew, numbers released Friday by the National Center for Health Statistics show.

"It's a good-sized decline for one year. Every month is showing a decline from the year before," said Stephanie Ventura, the demographer who oversaw the report.

The , which takes into account changes in the population, fell to 13.5 births for every 1,000 people last year. That's down from 14.3 in 2007 and way down from 30 in 1909, when it was common for people to have big families.

"It doesn't matter how you look at it - fertility has declined," Ventura said.

The situation is a striking turnabout from 2007, when more babies were born in the United States than any other year in the nation's history. The began that fall, dragging stocks, jobs and births down.

"When the economy is bad and people are uncomfortable about their financial future, they tend to postpone having children. We saw that in the the 1930s and we're seeing that in the Great Recession today," said Andrew Cherlin, a sociology professor at Johns Hopkins University.

"It could take a few years to turn this around," he added, noting that the rate stayed low throughout the 1930s.

Another possible factor in the drop: a decline in immigration to the United States.

The downward trend invites worrisome comparisons to Japan and its lost decade of choked growth in the 1990s and very low birth rates. Births in Japan fell 2 percent in 2009 after a slight rise in 2008, its government has said.

Not so in Britain, where the population took its biggest jump in almost half a century last year and the fertility rate is at its highest level since 1973. France's birth rate also has been rising; Germany's birth rate is lower but rising as well.

"Our birth rate is still higher than the birth rate in many wealthy countries and we also have many immigrants entering the country. So we do not need to be worried yet about a birth dearth" that would crimp the nation's ability to take care of its growing elderly population, Cherlin said.

The new U.S. report is a rough count of births from states. It estimates there were 4,136,000 births in 2009, down from 4,251,095 in 2008 and more than 4.3 million in 2007.

The report does not give details on trends in different age groups. That will come next spring and will give a clearer picture who is and is not having children, Ventura said.

Last spring's report, on births in 2008, showed an overall drop but a surprising rise in births to women over 40, who may have felt they were running out of time to have children and didn't want to delay despite the bad economy.

Women postponing having children because of careers also may find they have trouble conceiving, said Mark Mather of the Population Reference Bureau, a Washington-based demographic research group.

"For some of those women, they're going to find themselves in their mid-40s where it's going to be hard to have the number of children they want," he said.

Heather Atherton is nearing that mark. The Sacramento, Calif., mom, who turns 36 next month, started a home-based public relations business after having a baby girl in 2003. She and her husband upgraded to a larger home in 2005 and planned on having a second child not long afterward. Then the recession hit, drying up her husband's sales commissions and leaving them owing more on their home than it is worth. A second child seemed too risky financially.

"However, we just recently decided that it's time to stop waiting and just go for it early next year and let the chips fall where they may," she said. "We can't allow the recession to dictate the size of our family. We just need to move forward with our lives."

Explore further: With kids in school, parents can work out

More information: CDC report: www.cdc.gov/nchs
Birth trends: tinyurl.com/28b2gjc

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User comments : 52

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Question
2.5 / 5 (8) Aug 27, 2010
See, recessions really do have a good side.
SincerelyTwo
2.5 / 5 (8) Aug 27, 2010
Question,

I don't know, this is no where near good enough yet imo, that's hardly a dent. That and referring to this absurdly irrelevant dip as a 'new low' is sad in itself.

I would like to see birth rates fall at least 50% from where they are now.
freethinking
2 / 5 (8) Aug 27, 2010
Now I know why progressives are destroying the US economy and reducing a lot of people to poverty, to reduce the US birth rate.
ShotmanMaslo
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 27, 2010
Question,

I don't know, this is no where near good enough yet imo, that's hardly a dent. That and referring to this absurdly irrelevant dip as a 'new low' is sad in itself.

I would like to see birth rates fall at least 50% from where they are now.


50 % reduction would be surely too much. Just a little dip in fertility rate and some immigrant restrictions are all that is needed for achieving stable population.
Question
3 / 5 (4) Aug 27, 2010
Now there is a problem with this whole scenario and that is, it is only the responsible people who are postponing their next child. The idiots who only plan as far as their next cellphone call probably actually increased their birthrate last year.
freethinking
2.1 / 5 (7) Aug 27, 2010
Ah progressive trash talking generalizations, only responsible people are postponing... So people who have stable jobs who can feed their kids arn't responsible?
Question
5 / 5 (2) Aug 27, 2010
Ah progressive trash talking generalizations, only responsible people are postponing... So people who have stable jobs who can feed their kids arn't responsible?

I did not mention people who are working and supporting themselves. And yes responsible people that lose there jobs would be postponing.
It is irresponsible to bring a child into this world without the means to provide for its needs.
Of course, maybe you don't mind your tax dollars going to support these irresponsible people.


marjon
2.1 / 5 (7) Aug 27, 2010
That's why the socialist boomers need illegal aliens: to pay off the social security ponzi scheme.
Question
3 / 5 (2) Aug 27, 2010
Marjon, I think you got that a little twisted. The SS fund has about a 3 trillion dollar surplus, it does not really need any more money for decades. Now, your tax dollars are needed to support the high birth rate of the irresponsible breeders in our society.
marjon
5 / 5 (1) Aug 27, 2010
"“For the first time in nearly 30 years, Social Security will pay out more benefits than it receives in payroll taxes both this year and in 2011. By 2015, the program is expected regularly operate with an annual deficit.”

To make up the difference, the Social Security Administration has begun cashing in the IOUs that the U.S. Treasury has issued it over the years as other programs have “borrowed” the retirement program’s annual surpluses in order to make deficits appear lower. The trouble is that there are no funds to pay off those IOUs, so the government, already deeply in debt, will have to borrow or print more money to cover them — a course of action guaranteed to end in ruin sooner or later."
http://www.thenew...nking-in
Question
3 / 5 (2) Aug 27, 2010
Marjon, and that is exactly what the SS money was save up for. It was not saved up for wars that were not paid for and unpaid tax cuts that benefited mainly the well off. Nor was it save up to support the irresponsible breeders in our society.

marjon
5 / 5 (1) Aug 27, 2010
Marjon, and that is exactly what the SS money was save up for. It was not saved up for wars that were not paid for and unpaid tax cuts that benefited mainly the well off. Nor was it save up to support the irresponsible breeders in our society.


You still don't get it do you? The money is ALL coming from the same pot, the US taxpayer. Whether your SS taxes go up or your income taxes go up, taxes must go up and benefits must drop to pay for the boomers as fewer and fewer taxpayers fund boomers. Also, take note that many union, company and government retirement plans are broke so the fewer taxpayers are going to be forced to pay for them.
Question
3 / 5 (2) Aug 27, 2010
Marjon, and that is exactly what the SS money was save up for. It was not saved up for wars that were not paid for and unpaid tax cuts that benefited mainly the well off. Nor was it save up to support the irresponsible breeders in our society.


You still don't get it do you? The money is ALL coming from the same pot, the US taxpayer. Whether your SS taxes go up or your income taxes go up, taxes must go up and benefits must drop to pay for the boomers as fewer and fewer taxpayers fund boomers. Also, take note that many union, company and government retirement plans are broke so the fewer taxpayers are going to be forced to pay for them.

No, you are the one who does not get it. The Baby Boomers had their SS taxes raised back in the 1980's for the explicit purpose of saving up a surplus for their retirement years.
And now your kind wants to steal that money from them.

Shame on your kind!
marjon
3.5 / 5 (4) Aug 27, 2010
No you are the one who does not get it. The Baby Boomers had their SS taxes raised back in the 1980's for the explicit purpose of saving up a surplus for their retirement years.
And now your kind want to steal that money from them.

The money has already been stolen to pay for all those retiring now.
I started paying into the system in '79 and tax rates, income limits and retirement dates have been rising nearly every year to pay for those who are retiring now.
What is my kind?
SS was and is a ponzi scheme and the ONLY way to end it is for the money to be put into a real trust fund in the private sector.
Had the government put that money into a private passbook savings account we would all be better off as the government could not have stolen that money from us.
Some people are lucky and don't pay into SS. They have real retirement plans with real trust funds.
marjon
3 / 5 (2) Aug 27, 2010
"But after 24 years, folks here can say unequivocally that when Galveston County pulled out of the Social Security system in 1981, we were on the road to providing our workers with a better deal than Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal."
"Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system under which taxes collected from today's workers are used to pay today's retirees. That was sustainable in the past; for example, in 1950 there were 16 workers providing benefits for each retiree. However, today the ratio has dropped to 3 workers for each retiree, and by the year 2030 the ratio will be 2 to 1. "
"l." To eliminate the risks of the up-and-down stock market, workers' contributions were put into conservative fixed-rate guaranteed annuities, rather than fluctuating stocks, bonds or mutual funds. Our results have been impressive: We've averaged an annual rate of return of about 6.5 percent over 24 years. "
http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba514
Question
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 27, 2010
You are just one misinformed person. The SS money was not stolen it is in government bonds, the safest investment in the world. You are blaming the wrong people, it is not the retired people collecting SS that are the problem. It is the politicians who spent the money on unpaid for wars and tax cut that you should be blaming.
Now they will just have to raise some taxes that should have been raised instead of cut 10 years ago won't they.
Question
1 / 5 (1) Aug 27, 2010
An average of 6.5% return over the last 24 years is terrible. They could have done better than that with a CD's compounded interest. They may have even done better staying in SS. On top of that "average annual returns" are very misleading. If my investment has a return of 100% the first and I lose 50% the second, what would be my average annual return?
Well it would be 50% when I really didn't make a dime! Look it up.
Question
3 / 5 (2) Aug 27, 2010
Let me correct my self. A 100% return the first year and 50% loss the second year would be a 25% average annual return when I really would not have made a penny.
marjon
3 / 5 (2) Aug 27, 2010
An average of 6.5% return over the last 24 years is terrible.

1.065^24 = 4.5
$100 after 24 years is $450.

It is the politicians who spent the money on unpaid for wars and tax cut that you should be blaming.

The politicians are NOT going to pay for it. Taxpayers WILL.
T-bills are payed for by the taxpayers.
Question
1 / 5 (1) Aug 28, 2010
Marjon, you have a point that the taxpayers are the ones who will have to pay for the politicians over spending and under taxing. But why should the ones paying a regressive tax like SS (you) be the ones to pay for it?

You need to look up what "average annual rate of return" means. Then you need to put some thought into it and you will realize that a 6.5% average return for 24 years could be a good return, if it was 6.5% compounded. Average annual rates of return are not compounded though. But it could also be that you earn nothing during those 24 years, yes not even a nickel.
http://www.invest.../aar.asp

The Banksters on Wall Street are licking their chops waiting to get a hold of your kind's SS money!
Skeptic_Heretic
2.5 / 5 (2) Aug 28, 2010
Question,

I don't know, this is no where near good enough yet imo, that's hardly a dent. That and referring to this absurdly irrelevant dip as a 'new low' is sad in itself.

I would like to see birth rates fall at least 50% from where they are now.

You'd watch every social program and government revenue drop to a low or you'd see taxation skyrocket to afford infrastructure. It wouldn't necessarily be a good thing to see the birth rate plummet unless immigration greatly increased in response, which typically is what happens.

And get ready for another big market correction downwards. As the BB generation retires and withdraws all those private investments, the younger generations won't be able to put as much money in the stock market as is being taken out. Marjon, privatization of SS would destroy the economy unless you had successivly larger and larger generations of workers. That is an entirely untenable situation.
marjon
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 28, 2010
privatization of SS would destroy the economy unless you had successivly larger and larger generations of workers. That is an entirely untenable situation.


How? There is real money that is being invested in the economy, not the government.
We now have billions being withdrawn from 401k stock funds due to government caused market uncertainty.
If those funds of real private wealth were available for retirees, they would most likely slowly spend them or buy an annuity for a guranteed income until they die. Excess funds would be passed on to their families. Regardless, all private retirement funds would stay in the economy.
I do support opening the border to more legal immigration. Why shouldn't more English speaking immigrants from Indian, Philippines, Europe, China be allowed to contribute to the US economy?
marjon
3 / 5 (4) Aug 28, 2010
You need to look up what "average annual rate of return" means. Then you need to put some thought into it and you will realize that a 6.5% average return for 24 years could be a good return,

Didn't you read the story? The Galveston county retirement funds were invested in banks (CD, money markets, etc.) NOT in the stock market.
I submit that had my SS taxes had been put into CDs at a local bank I would have more money, and there would be more money for investment instead of government.
Question
1 / 5 (1) Aug 28, 2010
SH: While a 50% reduction in the birthrate would be extreme a replacement birthrate or slow growth would be ideal. Can you imagine what it will be like in about 50 year when our population will be doubled, the airports, the roads, etc.? It all has to do with how fast the population is increasing. That is why places like Haiti are in the dumpster and cannot see any way out as far as one can see into the future. Any society that relies on growth to survive is bound to fail. The natural resources that provide for a society are finite.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.5 / 5 (4) Aug 28, 2010
SH: While a 50% reduction in the birthrate would be extreme a replacement birthrate or slow growth would be ideal.
Agreed.
Can you imagine what it will be like in about 50 year when our population will be doubled,
It won't be 50 years, we're looking more like 25 at the current rates.
That is why places like Haiti are in the dumpster and cannot see any way out as far as one can see into the future.
Well that's not true. Haiti is a dumpster because the inhabitants are completely uneducated for the most part. Most Haitians are illiterate. Illiteracy leads to higher birth rates and greater mortality. If you want to slow birth rates, push education. Wealth and lowered reproduction follow according to ALL statistics.
How? There is real money that is being invested in the economy, not the government.

With every generation retiring you'd be removing massive amounts of money from the economy. Without replacement from a larger workforce, the economy dies
Question
1 / 5 (1) Aug 28, 2010
You need to look up what "average annual rate of return" means. Then you need to put some thought into it and you will realize that a 6.5% average return for 24 years could be a good return,


Didn't you read the story? The Galveston county retirement funds were invested in banks (CD, money markets, etc.) NOT in the stock market.
I submit that had my SS taxes had been put into CDs at a local bank I would have more money, and there would be more money for investment instead of government.

Maybe you would have done better, and than again maybe not. Some would do better, others would lose it all.
In the end your tax rates would have to be increased to feed and house the ones who lost it all.

A bad deal!
Question
1 / 5 (4) Aug 28, 2010
SH: You are mistaken if you think a larger and larger work force is needed to support people in retirement. Did you ever hear of automation? That is what will support them and increase the standard of living for the workers who are supporting them at the same time!
marjon
5 / 5 (3) Aug 28, 2010
Maybe you would have done better, and than again maybe not. Some would do better, others would lose it all.

How would I have lost it all by investing in CDs?
Do you know what a CD is?
In effect, we are all losing it all with the govt ponzi scheme as we all must pay taxes into the general fund to repay the T-bills being cashed in.
This is simply an wealth redistribution scheme. Had those funds been invested, even into bank CDs, those funds would have been available for investment into the economy, creating wealth, instead of the govt., destroying wealth.
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (1) Aug 28, 2010
SH: You are mistaken if you think a larger and larger work force is needed to support people in retirement. Did you ever hear of automation? That is what will support them and increase the standard of living for the workers who are supporting them at the same time!

Don't assume my stance in that manner please. I'm speaking only in terms of the current system. If you want to do it properly, you don't privatize retirement, you simply don't offer it and allow individuals to take care of it themselves. My comments above were directed at Marjon's questioning why a privatized retirement schedule wouldn't work.
Alphakronik
not rated yet Aug 28, 2010
"The 2009 birth rate also set a record: lowest in a century."

Your graph at the top disagrees with you.
Tank
5 / 5 (3) Aug 28, 2010
See, recessions really do have a good side.


Don't say that too soon. If the economy is influencing people's decisions to have kids, its only those who were already financially stable and/or educated. It probably didn't effect the mothers with 12 kids on welfare already or the influx of illegals having kids here. Those groups tend not to care or put effort into their kids, leaving them to drop out of school and roam the streets as vagrants.
Question
1 / 5 (3) Aug 28, 2010
SH: As for Haitians being illiterate, yes that is the secondary problem. The first and real problem is that they are multiplying too fast. A society only has a limited amount of resources to expend on the next generation and the larger the more numerous the next generation is the less each new member of a society will get. Its the old law of supply and demand.

I certainly am not recommending this solution for Haiti, but have you ever notice how the birthrate drops as a country becomes more socialistic or communistic?
Question
not rated yet Aug 28, 2010
Marjon: I never said you would have lost it all. But do you know what CD's are paying today? Next to nothing, and it may be decades before we see CD's earning 5% again. Look at Japan, their 10 year government bond is paying under 1%, and it has been paying less than 2% for years. You are better off staying in SS.

What I said was even if everyone was allowed keep and invest their own SS money the ones that did well (you) will still be paying for the ones that lose it all in the form of higher taxes, to house and feed them in their old age. Its a bad deal. The Sharks on Wall Street are circling for potential victims already!

As for the blaming the bad economy on the government, sure they deserve some blame and the blame they deserve is for governing too little. That is what created the housing bubble along with the Banksters on Wall Street that ruin the economy.

freethinking
2.3 / 5 (6) Aug 28, 2010
One of the major reason Hati is such a slum is corruption and lack of education. Problem is Progressive governments tend to be and become the most corrupt governments around.

So the US is safe... oh wait... :)
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Aug 28, 2010
. But do you know what CD's are paying today?

What are t-bills paying today?
Question
not rated yet Aug 28, 2010
. But do you know what CD's are paying today?

What are t-bills paying today?

The two year note: less than .6%
The five year note: about 1.4%
The 10 year bond: about 2.6%
The 30 year bond: about 3.6%

Two things to remember, these rates change many time a day every day. And secondly even more important if bond interests go UP your principle goes DOWN, and visa-versa. That is what has made bonds such a good investment over the last 29 years as long term interest rate have been on a downward spiral.

But nobody can be sure where interest rates will go in the future. Personally I think we are in for a long period of low interest rates, they may even go lower. But I do not think they will ever go as low as they are in Japan.

Warning: I could be totally wrong.
marjon
not rated yet Aug 28, 2010
SS is supposed to 'invest' in T-bills.
Javinator
5 / 5 (2) Aug 28, 2010
One of the major reason Hati is such a slum is corruption and lack of education.


That's two reasons...
Question
not rated yet Aug 28, 2010
SS is supposed to 'invest' in T-bills.

Yes and they are not getting much of a return today either on any new money they invest. There does not appear to be any good place to invest your money today.
Real estate and stocks are out of favor and cheap to buy. They could be the best investment around.
But here again I could be totally wrong!
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Aug 29, 2010
Haiti's problem don't have anything to do with France and the French legal system?
Former colonies UK seem to be much less corrupt than those of France and Spain.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Aug 29, 2010
One of the major reason Hati is such a slum is corruption and lack of education. Problem is Progressive governments tend to be and become the most corrupt governments around.

So the US is safe... oh wait... :)

Haiti has a very conservative government with a laize faire legal system. Do you just call everything you don't like "progressive?"
freethinking
1 / 5 (4) Aug 29, 2010
Busted on one reason then giving two...

SH - poor research again...
-------------------------------------------
February 2004, an armed rebellion forced the resignation and exile of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and a provisional government took control with security provided by the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). Rene Preval, the current president, was elected in the Haitian general election, 2006.
-------------------------------------

SH- if you consider the UN a bastion of conservatism, you must be a flaiming leftist progressive.

A corrupt country cannot be conservative, as conservatives believe in rule of law and equal application of law. In a corrupt country paying bribes, or knowing the right friends gets you different treatment.

Corruption and lack of education are hallmarks of progressivism, which leads countries into poverty.
freethinking
Aug 29, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (4) Aug 29, 2010
SH- if you consider the UN a bastion of conservatism, you must be a flaiming leftist progressive.
The UN doesn't seem to have an opinion, it follows whatever is the largest group on the opinion poll. Hence ridiculous statements like the UN anti-blasphemy regulations, which smells of theocracy.That being said, Preval is an agrarian conservative. He's big into privatization.
A corrupt country cannot be conservative, as conservatives believe in rule of law and equal application of law.

I rest my case, you are delusional.
dsl5000
not rated yet Aug 29, 2010
You know what else has a factor for people not having kids? Education. If people are going to college and staying in school longer, time will be dedicated to studies rather than kids.

Plus contraceptives i.e. condoms and birth controls keeps the fun of sex and limits baby making :)
stealthc
1 / 5 (3) Aug 30, 2010
not a shred of evidence linking the lower birthrate to what the real cause is -- all of the chemicals and intentionally soft-kill fertility lowering devices our government and big business have been using for decades. Our population would be shrinking if it weren't for our governments offering immigrants all of the best jobs at reduced pay and free tax supported training to lure them here with.
Javinator
5 / 5 (2) Aug 30, 2010
Are you trying to be funny or are you actually that paranoid? If you are you should get off the internet since that's how "they" will find you.

Our population would be shrinking if it weren't for our governments offering immigrants all of the best jobs at reduced pay and free tax supported training to lure them here with.


Provide a specific example of this.
freethinking
1 / 5 (4) Aug 31, 2010
SH- The UN doesn't seem to have an opinion, it follows whatever is the largest group on the opinion poll.

You must think most of the world is conservative? Sorry, I forgot, from your prospective, most of the world is more conservative than you.

Seriously, character, law, and responsibility are a conservative trait. Don't believe me, when was the last time you heard of a riot at a conservative rally?

The truth and progressives and progressive ideology don't get along very well. Anyone who knows history will soon find this out.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Aug 31, 2010
You must think most of the world is conservative?
No, sorry. I think most of the world is rather agnostic when it comes to financial policy of their parent nation. I also think the maj0ority of people don't have the time or will to even engage in the conversation.
Sorry, I forgot, from your prospective, most of the world is more conservative than you.
Actually, you're far more progressive than I am. You're simply trying to progress to a form of serfdom we abolished over 400 years ago.

Seriously, character, law, and responsibility are a conservative trait. Don't believe me, when was the last time you heard of a riot at a conservative rally?
So you've forgetten about the hard hat riots? The riots in Cuba, the convservative riots in Iran, the continued conservative riots in Jordan, etc, etc, etc. So ignorant.
Anyone who knows history will soon find this out.
Well that wouldn't be you. You're largely ignorant of history.
freethinking
1 / 5 (4) Aug 31, 2010
Again, SH - Progressives have a hard time speaking the truth, and to hide lies keep changing terms and twisting meanings.

Comaparing the riots in Iran and Jordan to conservatives here is very inaccurate. More akin to WTO riots in Seattle and other riots staged by progressives here in the US.

Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Aug 31, 2010
Again, SH - Progressives have a hard time speaking the truth, and to hide lies keep changing terms and twisting meanings.

Comaparing the riots in Iran and Jordan to conservatives here is very inaccurate. More akin to WTO riots in Seattle and other riots staged by progressives here in the US.


You said
Seriously, character, law, and responsibility are a conservative trait. Don't believe me, when was the last time you heard of a riot at a conservative rally?
You are obviously wrong and I've demonstrated such. Are you ready to be a big boy and say those 3 magic words that begin an actual conversation, or do I need to drill it further into your head that your definitions are entirely false? I'll start calling you marjon if you prefer.
Mr_Frontier
not rated yet Sep 04, 2010
Sure is becoming difficult to defend basic knowledge and reason this day and age.
So far Skeptic you've got an A for effort; they've put up a pretty nasty fight.
I can only assume it makes one stronger?
Eldon_Scott
not rated yet Sep 04, 2010
Medigap insurance keeps going up in cost, medicare supplement insurance plan F and medicare supplement insurance plan G can be researched at http://nationalmedicaresupplements/