Recession Ends Baby Boom

Birthrate drops for the first time in the last 10 years

Friday, Aug 7, 2009  |  Updated 4:05 PM EDT
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The last two record drops in the birth rate were lean times for the country: The Great Depression and the Arab oil embargo.

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For the first time in over a decade, the U.S. birth rate has dropped and some industry analysts are blaming the recession. 

At the start of the economic downturn in December 2007, the U.S. had broken a 50-year-old record high for births set during the baby boom, but since then the number has declined, a full 2% last year.  The National Center for Health Statistics reports that 4,247,000 babies were born in the U.S. in 2008,  down roughly 68,000 from the year before.  

Births were down across the country in all but 10 states, most of which were in the northern belt, where the recession was felt the least. California and Florida, two states that were hit the hardest by the housing crisis, saw the steepest decline.

The birth rate has historically risen and fallen with the economy, with record lows recorded during the Great Depression in the 1930's and the Arab oil embargo of the 1970's.

Get more: The New York Times

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