The African-American birth rate declined between 2008 and 2009, and the economic recession probably explains the drop, new findings from the Pew Research Center suggest.
There was a 2.4 percent dip in birth rates among Black women during that period. Latino women experienced a sharper fall, however, with 6 percent fewer babies after the recession began in December 2007. White women reflected the smallest change, reflecting a 1.6 percent decline.
“A state-level look at fertility illustrates the strength of the correlation between lower birth rates and economic distress,” the Pew researchers report.
Using indicators such as personal income, employment and unemployment rates across the country, they found that states experiencing the largest economic declines in 2007 and 2008 were most likely to experience fertility declines from 2008 to 2009. California showed the greatest decline, from about 552,000 in 2008 to 527,000 in 2009. Michigan, Florida and Illinois were also among the top states reflecting declines between 2008 and 2009. Conversely, North Dakota, which experienced one of the nation’s lowest unemployment rates of 3.1 percent in 2008, was the only state to show a slight increase (0.7 percent) from 2008 to 2009.
Nationally, birth rates have been in steady decline, from more than 4.3 million in 2007, which marked a record high in the country, to an estimated 4 million in 2010.
(Photo: The Plain Dealer/Landov)