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

ATLANTA (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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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 CDC 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 birth 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 recession 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.

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

___

Online:

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

Associated Press
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to webmaster@wvlt-tv.com. Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus

WVLT VOLUNTEER TV

6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 123928059