Birth Rates Drop During Recession

Raising a family is an expensive proposition. The estimated cost of raising a child born in 2010 until age 17 is almost $287,000. So it came as no surprise when the Pew Research Center released a recent report showing a decline in birth rates since the recession began in December 2007. Since then, the rate has dropped from 69.7 births per thousand women aged 15 to 44 to 66.7 births in 2009.

The drop was most pronounced among Hispanics. Between 2008 and 2009, the birth rate among Hispanics fell almost 6% compared with African-Americans who experienced a 2.4% decline, and whites who had a 1.6% drop. Experts say people are postponing having children because they don’t have the necessary financial resources. But regardless of the economy—planning a pregnancy always makes sense.

Unintended pregnancies can have significant health consequences for both mother and baby, especially if women don’t get prenatal care early and often. Decisions about family planning are at the core of a woman’s wellbeing and will have lasting repercussions over her entire lifespan. In good times and bad, it’s important to use a method of birth control that’s right for you. Take charge of your health now.