The birth and fertility rates for American women has risen for the first time in more than seven years, and the reason why might shock you.
Nearly seven years following the great recession, the United States’ birthrate is on the rise once again. According to the Wall Street Journal, there were 62.9 births for every 1000 American women last year, up from 62.5 in 2013. This milestone signifies the first jump in the birthrate since 2007, the same year the economy began to sink into the great recession.
The fertility rate, a different measure of how many children a woman is likely to have over the course of her life, also jumped from 1.858 to 1.862. In order to maintain a stable population, the US would need to have an average fertility rate around 2.1 children.
The increase is small and could revert at any time, but it is the first bump in almost seven years. The Wall Street Journal says the nation’s improving economic conditions are one of the biggest reasons people are deciding to become parents at a higher rate. The recession forced many young and under-educated Americans to put off having children until the economy improved.
Many demographers are relieved about the uptick in American birth and fertility rates. During the Great Depression in the 1930’s, birth and fertility rates dropped significantly as a result of economic conditions. Back then, however, it took the country’s population much longer to recover from the loss of savings and income brought forth by the Great Depression.
More recent research suggests that the spike in the birthrate is largely due to older women who are better-educated and feel ready to raise a child. Teenage pregnancies and births are also plummeting, which has contributed to the low growth in birthrates over recent years.