A friend of mine sent me a story from MSNBC and it really made me stop and think… I’m not alone.
Birth rates do tend to drop in times of economic uncertainty. There was a dramatic decline in fertility rates following the Great Depression in the 1930s, when, for the first time in U.S. history, women went from having an average of three children the previous decade to two.
In each year after the country’s last four recessions, general fertility rates — calculated as the number of women of child-bearing age per thousand who gave birth — dipped slightly. For example, in the year following the 1973-1975 recession, fertility rates dropped from 68.8 in 1973 to 65 in 1976…
Without a doubt, in good economic times or bad, raising a child is an expensive proposition. According to “Expenditures on Children by Families,” an annual report put out by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a middle-class family making more than $77,100 will spend nearly $300,000 raising a child from birth to age 17 — and that doesn’t even take into account college tuition or inflation.
Michelle and Paul Anderson, two Seattle-based high-tech professionals, were delighted to learn they were pregnant with their first child earlier this year, until they both found themselves laid off from their jobs and paying out-of-pocket for health insurance.
Friends and relatives, cash-strapped themselves, haven’t been able to help with baby gifts as much as they anticipated. “Being pregnant makes this very stressful on both of us,” says Anderson. We have trouble sleeping and we worry all the time.”
It makes sense to me… The correlation between the bad economy and lower birth rates. Would it change your plans? Some people say “What’s one more mouth to feed?” And other’s say “You’ll never have enough money anyway.” Regardless, tough times make for tough decisions when it comes to growing a family.
It’s really going to take a giant leap of faith in order for me to take the plunge with times being the way they are now.
Let me know what you think vote in the poll on this topic and feel free to elaborate in a comment.
You can read the full article here.