Study links low birth rates to U.S. recession

Washington - WASHINGTON (WMBF) - An analysis of state fertility and economic data is showing a strong connection to low birth rates and the state of the U.S. economy, the Pew Research Center announced Tuesday.

The study gathered the final 2008 birth numbers from 25 states across the U.S., on which the data was made available. In 22 of the 25 states, the share of women old enough for childbearing who gave birth declined or leveled off in 2008, in comparison to 2007. In contrast, 20 of the 25 states with available data saw a decrease in the number of births from the previous year.

Officials with the Pew Research Center say the analysis suggests the drop in fertility and births are linked to poor economic conditions across the nation.

"There is a strong association between the magnitude of fertility change in 2008 across states and key economic indicators, including changes in per capita income, housing prices and share of the working-age population," the report stated.

The study reveals that from 2003-2007, the nation's birth rate increased with each year that passed. Since 2007 and a downturn in the U.S. economy, birth rates have steadily declined.

Research shows that previous recessions are linked to fertility declines, but other factors also play a strong role.

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