A decline in fertility rates that began in 2008 is closely linked to financial woes that started at the same time, said a new Pew Research Center report issued Wednesday. Changes in personal income, per capita GDP, unemployment rates and claims, and state-level foreclosure rates all had an effect.
In 2007, there were 69.7 babies per 1,000 women of childbearing age. Provisional data for 2010 showed that number had dropped to 64.7.
The actual number of births from 2008 to 2009 rose only in one state, North Dakota, which also posted one of the nation's lowest unemployment rates at 3.1%.
"This does not conclusively prove that the economic changes led to fertility changes," the Pew report said. "However, the timing is consistent with the time it might take people to act upon fertility decisions."
Historically, there's evidence to back up the Pew analysis.