US birth rate falling fastest in areas with greatest job growth: 7 things to know

The birth rate for Americans in their 20s is declining, particularly in areas with more economic growth, reports The New York Times.

Over the last decade, delaying childbirth has become more common among American women, resulting in the slowest U.S. population growth rate since the 1930s. Caitlin Myers, PhD, an economist at Middlebury (Vt.) College, analyzed county-level birth records for the Times. 

Seven findings: 

1. From 2007 to 2019, birthrates have fallen across the U.S., dropping fastest in places with the greatest job growth.

2. Since 2007, the birth rate for women in their 20s dropped 28 percent, with the largest decrease among unmarried women.

3. The only age groups in which birthrates rose were women in their 30s and 40s. However, rates among this age group have started to decline in the last three years.

4. Hispanic women, who once had the highest fertility of any racial or ethnic group, have had the single largest fertility drop of any group —  decreasing by more than a third since 2007. 

5. Declines in childbearing vary by region. From 1996 to 2007, birth rates grew fastest in small cities and rural areas, and slowest in major metro areas. The West Coast and Mountain West have seen greater birth rate declines than the South or Northeast, according to CDC data. Large urban counties that have gained the most jobs and population since the recession have seen birth rates drop twice as fast than smaller, rural counties.

6. In places where the economy is stagnant, fertility tends to be higher.

7. Overall, the largest birth declines have been in unintended pregnancies and those to single mothers. 

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