Economy might be to blame for drop in US birth rate

According to Medical News Today, a new report released this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the overall birth rate in the U.S. has dropped by 3 percent from 2009 to 2010, with experts attributing the decline to the slow economy. The data for the study was based on birth records pulled from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.

Birth rates among teens experienced the steepest decline of 9 percent. In fact, the 2010 rate of 34.2 births per 1,000 for teens aged 15-19 is the lowest since record-keeping began seven years ago. The change in birth rates for women in their twenties and thirties was less dramatic but still significant, with a drop of 6 percent. However, for women in their early forties, the birth rate actually rose from 10 per 1,000 births in 2009 to 10.2 in 2010.

Experts attributed the overall drop in birth rates to the lagging U.S. economy, since more women opt to not have kids if they believe they can’t afford to support them. According to the Medical News Today article, the overall trend in the birth rate for women has mirrored the state of the U.S. economy over the last several years.

Other interesting insights from the study included a decline in premature births of 6 percent since 2006 and a decline in the birth rate amongst unmarried mothers from 49.9 per 1,000 in 2009 to 47.7 in 2010.