2009 Birth Rate "Lowest In a Century"

Birth Rate on the Decline - IllustrationAccording to the National Center for Health Statistics, the US birth rate continued to tumble in 2009.

The number of births in the country actually dropped 2.7% in 2009, despite the fact that the total population of the United States still managed to post an increase for the year.

There were a total of 4,136,000 births in the United States in 2009, down from 4,247,000 the year before. This works out to a birth rate of 13.5 births for every thousand people in 2009, down from 13.9/1000 in 2008 and 14.3/1000 in 2007.

The reason for the decline? It's simple - the recession.

Many American families are currently dealing with the loss of one or even both of the household incomes. This has resulted in many households needing to dramatically cut back on their expenses, which doesn't leave too much room for a new "bundle of joy".

"We'd love to have a baby, but we just can't afford it right now" is a common refrain being heard all across the country right now. Birth rates typically tend to drop during times of economic hardship in a country.

The question - will the United States end up like Japan, which has posted a very low birth rate for nearly two decades now due to their economic troubles? Or will the birth rate in the United States soon rebound?

It will likely all depend on the strength of the economy going forward.

Source: Births, Marriages, Divorces, and Deaths: Provisional Data for 2009

Filed under: The Economic Meltdown

Related Articles