The Washington Post reports that the number of babies born in the United States has dropped for the second year in a row, according to new federal statistics released Friday that provide more evidence that the nation’s economic troubles are affecting the birth rate.
Provisional data for 2009 found that an estimated 4,136,000 babies were born in the United States in 2009, a 2.6 percent drop from 2008, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
The drop follows a 2 percent fall in births that occurred between 2007 and 2008, which pushed the nation’s fertility rate below 2.1 per woman, meaning Americans were no longer giving birth to enough children to keep the population from declining.
That drop prompted speculation that the fall was the result of the recession–a notion supported by an analysis of data from 25 states, including Maryland and Virginia, that was released in April by the Pew Research Center. The report found that states that tended to suffer most from the recession had the biggest declines in births.
Photo by straymuse.