U.S. Birth Rate (Finally!) on the Rise?

Consider this a sign that the U.S. economy may finally be on track—or maybe that a few of us older moms are hearing that biological clock ticking away: The Centers for Disease Control just reported that after five years of strong and steady declines in the U.S. birth rate, we’re finally seeing a “very, very, very slight” uptick in the number of babies being born. Last year, just over 4 million babies were born here in the U.S. Most experts believe that the big drop in birth rate over the past few years can be attributed to the big drop in the economy, as fewer couples felt financially stable enough to manage the expenses that come with a baby.

The other interesting part of the report showcased the age of these new moms—and it appears more people are putting off motherhood until their 30s. That’s been the norm where I live for a while, but it appears that more women nationwide are choosing to put off family building until after they’ve finished their education and established their careers. In fact, birth rates were still falling last year for every age group except the over-30 crowd. And teen births dropped yet another 10 percent, making this the lowest number of births to teens ever. (There were 675,000 teen moms during the peak year, in 1970, while last year, just 275,000 teens gave birth.)

But demographers say our fertility rate still is still well below ideal 2.1 per woman that we need to hold the population steady—we’re currently at 1.87 per woman. That’s become a problem in many European countries, along with Japan.

Tell us: Did the economy’s health impact your family planning decisions? And were you in your teens, 20s or 30+ when you first became a mom?

See how motherhood changes, depending on your age bracket. And don’t forget to like All About Babies on Facebook to keep up with the very latest baby news!

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