A Bad Economy Means Fewer Babies

When times are tight, it's tough raising a family; and the contemporary economy has taken a statistical toll on America's households: Since 2007, the number of U.S. births has declined consistently, according to new CDC numbers reported by the AP. The number now hovers just above 4 million, down 3 percent. It's also possible, the AP notes, that the lower figure is due to a drop in immigration, thanks to a tanking job market.

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.

Read the full story at the Associated Press.

Presented by

John Hendel is a writer based in Washington, DC, and a former producer at The Atlantic.

The Horrors of Rat Hole Mining

"The river was our source of water. Now, the people won't touch it. They are repulsed by it."

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Horrors of Rat Hole Mining

"The river was our source of water. Now, the people won't touch it."

Video

What's Your Favorite Slang Word?

From "swag" to "on fleek," tweens choose.

Video

Cryotherapy's Dubious Appeal

James Hamblin tries a questionable medical treatment.

Video

Confessions of Moms Around the World

In Europe, mothers get maternity leave, discounted daycare, and flexible working hours.

Video

How Do Trees Know When It's Spring?

The science behind beautiful seasonal blooming

More in National

Just In