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Blame the Recession for Record Low U.S. Births

Births to recent immigrant women are falling fastest


The sluggish economy is not only leaving Americans with lighter wallets but with fewer children as well.

A report from the Pew Research Center found that between 2007 and 2010, the U.S. birth rate tumbled 8% and is now the lowest since 1920, Bloomberg noted.

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In 2011, the birth rate was 63.2 for every 1,000 women. That’s almost half of the baby boom high of 122.7 recorded in 1957. Lower birth rates will ultimately translate into a future shortage of workers, whose tax revenue is needed to sustain programs like Social Security and Medicare.

While births to native-born women fell 6% during the years included in the Pew Report, immigrant women experienced an even sharper decline. Their birth rate plunged 14%. That reversed two decades during which their rising birth rates outpaced those of native-born women.

Women who immigrated from Mexico saw their birth rate drop 23% during the period.

While the report didn’t explore the reason for the dramatic drop, its authors indicated that the financial crisis and resulting recession had hammered U.S. residents, especially immigrants, prompting many to reconsider family sizes.

The study examined data from the U.S. Census and the National Center for Health Statistics. Birth rates are calculated by compiling the number of births per 1,000 women of any particular group between the ages of 15 and 44.

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