U.S. birth rate falls to record low; greatest among immigrants
Spending and saving are not the only behaviors impacted by the Great Recession. A new Pew Research study finds that the U.S. birth rate dipped to its lowest recorded level in 2011. The decline was led by “a plunge” in births to immigrant women since the onset of the recession, Pew found.
Pew cites preliminary data from the National Center for Health Statistics, which records the overall birth rate in 2011 was 63.2 per 1,000 women of childbearing age. This is the lowest since at least 1920, the earliest year for which there are reliable numbers economic collapse, Pew found.
The overall U.S. birth rate declined 8 percent between 2007 and 2010. During those years, the birth rate for U.S.-born women decreased 6 percent, but the birth rate for foreign-born women plunged 14 percent. The birth rate for Mexican immigrant women fell by 23 percent.
The new Pew study does not address reasons for the decline, but a previous Pew analysis found that the recent fertility decline is “closely linked to economic distress, The states with the largest economic declines between 2007-2008 were most likely to experience significant fertility declines from 2008 to 2009," Pew found.
Despite the recessionary fertility decline, "foreign-born mothers continue to give birth to a disproportionate share of the nation's newborns, as they have for at least the past two decades," Pew reports. Demographers project that minority populations will exceed that of whites in 2040.
What are the implications to the economy of this birth rate decline among immigrants? A continuing decrease could challenge long-held assumptions that births to immigrants will help maintain the U.S. population and create the taxpaying workforce needed to support the aging baby-boom generation,” The Washington Post reports.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.