18 November 2011

Recession Reduces Births

The national birth rate dropped for the third straight year, with declines for most ages and all race. . . to the lowest rates since record-keeping began in the 1940s. U.S. births hit an all-time high in 2007, at more than 4.3 million. . . . Last year, it was down to just over 4 million. . . . For teens, birth rates dropped 9 percent from 2009. For women in their early 20s, they fell 6 percent. For unmarried mothers, the drop was 4 percent. . . . the total fertility rate. . . was 1.9 children last year. In most years, it's more like 2.1 [the replacement rate in the absence of immigration or emigration].

More striking was the change in the fertility rate for Latino women. The rate plummeted to 2.4 from 3 children just a few years ago.

From here relying on these statistics from the Center For Disease Control.

Birth rates are at record lows for teens and womens in the young twenties, continuing a large magnitude ten year trend (emphasis added):

• The 2010 rate for teens 15-19 was 9 percent below the rate in 2009 (37.9), the largest single year decline since 1946-47. The rate has fallen 44 percent from 1991 (61.8) when U.S. teenage birth rates began a long-term decline.

• Birth rates dropped for all age groups under 20 years. The rate for 10-14-year-olds declined from 0.5 per 1,000 in 2009 to 0.4 in 2010, an historic low.

The rate for teenagers 15-17 years declined 12 percent in 2010 to 17.3 per 1,000 . . . This rate fell.. . . 55 percent from 1991.

• Birth rates also fell for older teenagers 18-19 years, by 9 percent . . . to 58.3 in 2010. . . . 38 percent lower than in 1991.

• Teenage birth rates for ages 15-19, 15-17, and 18-19 declined significantly for all race and Hispanic origin groups. Declines for ages 15-19 ranged from 9 percent each for non-Hispanic white (to 23.5 per 1,000 in 2010) and non-Hispanic black teenagers (51.5) to 12 percent for AIAN [American Indian and Alaska Natives] (38.7) and Hispanic teenagers (55.7), and 13 percent for API [Asian Pacific Islanders] teenagers (10.9). The rates for all race and Hispanic origin groups reached historic lows in 2010. . . .

• The birth rate for women aged 20–24 years was 90.0 births per 1,000 women in 2010, down 6 percent from 96.2 in 2009, to the lowest level ever reported for the United States. . . . The number of births to women in this group declined 5 percent in 2010. The rate for women aged 25–29 years was 108.3 births per 1,000 women, a 3 percent decline from 111.5 in 2009 to equal the rate in 1997. . . .

• In 2010, the preliminary first birth rate was 25.9 births per 1,000 women age 15-44 years, down 3 percent from the rate in 2009 (26.8), the lowest first birth rate since 2002.

First-birth rates were down for all women under 30 years, declining 9 percent for women aged 15-19, 5 percent for women age 20-24, and 1 percent for women 25-29 (from 30.8, 47.5, and 41.0, respectively, in 2009).

First-birth rates for women age 30-34 and 40-44 years, however, rose in 2010 (1 and 5 percent, respectively, from 27.9 and 2.2 in 2009) and were unchanged for women aged 35-39 and 45-49 years.

Second-, third-, and fourth and higher-order birth rates for women aged 15-44 years also declined in 2010, with the second-birth rate dropping to the lowest level since 1940 (20.2 births per 1,000 women age 15-44 years). . . .

• The nonmarital birth rate declined in 2010 to 47.7 births per 1,000 unmarried women aged 15-44, 4 percent lower than in 2009 (49.9), according to preliminary data. This was the second consecutive year of decline in the rate, down from 51.8 in 2007 and 2008. The rate had been rising steadily in recent years, increasing 19 percent from 2002 (43.6) to 2007 (51.8).

• The total number of births to unmarried women declined 4 percent in 2010 to 1,633,785, down from 1,693,658 in 2009. The number has now fallen for two consecutive years. Nonmarital births dropped for women in all age groups under 30, and increased 1 to 3 percent for women in age groups 30 and older.

• The proportion of all births to unmarried women was 40.8 percent in 2010, slightly lower than in 2009 (41.0 percent). There was a small significant decline for non-Hispanic black births; changes for other race and Hispanic origin groups were not significant.

• Unmarried teenagers accounted for 20 percent of all nonmarital births in 2010, the lowest percentage ever reported. In 1970, teenagers accounted for 50 percent of births to unmarried women.

Years of P.R. encouraging women not to have children when they are still in school as paid off with the extra push of the financial crisis. Unmarried teens are much less likely to have children, women are postponing children until they have completed their educations, and while births to unmarried women make up 2 in 5 of all births, increasingly these births are to adult women who are having children by chose and are often in relatively stable non-marital relationship.


The recession has also greatly reduced net immigration, particularly net undocumented immigration, to negative or near zero levels. The number of undocumented immigrants in the last four years in the United States has fallen by about 1 million, the number of legal permanent residents has stayed roughly constant, and the number of people lawfully in the United States on temporary visas has changed modestly with temporary workers and students up by as much as a 1 million, but foreign tourism down.

About 800,000 lawful permanent residents a year are naturalized and replaced with new immigrants. Thus, immigrants is increasing the U.S. population at about 20% of the birth rate; births and net immigrant combined leave the U.S. with a population growth rate equivalent to about 2.3 births per woman per lifetime, which is about 10% more than the replacement rate of about 2.1. In the absence of immigrant, the birth rate of 1.9 birth per woman would be about 10% less than the replacement rate. Of course, the population is also growing as a result of longer after life expectencies.

The latest U.S. government estimate shows a decline in the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States from 11.8 million just before the financial criss to 10.8 million in 2010.

There the number of non-citizens legally in the United States with non-immigrant visas at any given time (about half temporary workers, about a third students, and the remainder tourists and diplomats) which was 1.8 million in 2007 and since 2010 the number of temporary workers and students has risen by the overall number of foreigers entering the U.S. legally has fallen down about 12%. On a net basis, this number is nearly zero as departures tend to match arrivals for people who are in legal status on temporary visas.

The number of new lawful permanent residents has slipped only slightly and is at about 1 million per year, although this figure doesn't capture lawful permanent residents who choose to leave the United States. About one in seven of these admissions are employment based and most of the rest united families (about 70%) or admit refugees. The number of lawful permanent residents in the United States has stayed steady at about 12.6 million at any one time, with new grants of lawful permanent citizenship offset by about 200,000 lawful permanent residents per year leaving the United States and the remainder becoming naturalized citizens. About two-thirds of current lawful permanent residents are eligible to be naturalized as citizens (although there is a backlog in that process).

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