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Thursday
Jul262012

Economy Drives Birthrate Down to Lowest Level in 25 Years

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Seeing fewer babies these days?  That's because young couples don't think they can afford another hungry mouth to feed.

Demographic Intelligence says that America's birthrate is at its lowest point since 1987 due to people in their 20s reluctant to take on the responsibility of having a kid with the economy still foundering.

The company, which delivers quarterly birth forecasts to corporate powerhouses that make products for children, says the birthrate has tumbled from an average of 2.12 births per woman in 2007 to 1.87 in 2012 and a projected 1.86 next year.

Demographic Intelligence estimates that the fertility rate could take a couple of years to rebound.

Sam Sturgeon, president of Demographic Intelligence, says this change in birthrate "doesn't hit all people equally, and it hit some people much harder than others," as typical with any economic downturn.

For instance, less-educated people and Hispanics were the most likely to put off having children while those who graduated college as well as non-Hispanic whites and Asian Americans actually experienced a small increase in babies.

Things that factor into not starting a family include unemployment, big college loans and the necessity of moving back in with mom and dad.  Meanwhile, the immigration of Hispanics into the U.S. has also slowed down.

What's more, Democraphic Intelligence predicts the drop in the birthrate now will have repercussions later since the longer people delay having their first child means longer delays for subsequent babies.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio