BY: Janay Hunt (Gainesville, GA)
U.S. birth rates continued to drop since 2011. Researchers link the downfall of birthrates with the economy being down.
The birth rates hit a record low in 2010, dropping one percent. It is the fourth consecutive year that birth rates have decreased. The baby boom culture in the US has been down with the general birth rate, which fell to a historic low since 2011. The measurement of general fertility is at just 63.2 births per 1,000 women between the ages of 15-44 years old. The figures in the mid 1950s were 120 births per 1,000 women in the same age group.
Mark Mather, a demographer for Population Reference Bureau, a nonprofit population research organization told ABC news, “The economy is definitely having some effect on fertility and we know that from previous decades during the Great Depression we saw a pretty significant drop in fertility and then again in the 1970s.” He continued, “If you look at European countries you can also see [the] impact of high unemployment and [with] uncertainty about jobs, you tend to see fertility drop.”
Joanna and Jack Mazewski choose to take caution to avoid their family size from growing. The high cost of raising a child helped the family make the decision. After the birth of their second child, Joanna and Jack decided the best way to contain their family to four members would be to get a vasectomy. Joanna wrote “The cost of raising a child these days is just too expensive for us to consider having a larger family,” also Joanna wrote on her blog “I’m not just talking diapers here: education, extra-curricular activities, insurance, etc., are all factors we considered before ultimately deciding on his surgery.”
The decision to have fewer children started before the recession, but could have been reinforced by the downturn of the economy.