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Women in Their Twenties are Having Fewer Kids Than Ever

A new analysis of CDC data by the Urban Group shows that twentysomething women in the U.S. are having kids at the “slowest pace of any generation of young women in U.S. history.” In 2012, there were just 948 births per 1,000 women in their twenties, a drop of more than 15 percent from 2007. There are plenty of factors that have led to the decline, including the “Great Recession.” As the Wall Street Journal points out, large economic downturns tend to lead women to put off having children. Also, “the recession reduced immigration, which lowers fertility since recent immigrants tend to have higher birth rates. More women are putting off having children until their thirties, and Hispanic and African-American women have been having fewer children for a while.” While birth rates have bounced back after other economic downturns, researchers predict that birth rates for twentysomethings will stay low, because much of the decrease was due to lower marriage rates of women in their twenties and fewer unmarried women having kids. “If these low birth rates to women in their twenties continue … the U.S. might eventually face the type of generational imbalance that currently characterizes Japan and some European countries,” Urban wrote in the report …

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