According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, birthrates in the U.S. are slowly recovering after a slump that lasted seven years as a result of this major economic event.
Just six years following the great recession, the United States’ birthrate has started to rise once again. According to the Wall Street Journal, there were 62.9 births for every 1000 women of childbearing age last year, up from 62.5 in 2013. This marks the first increase in the birthrate since 2007, the same year the recession began.
The fertility rate, which measures how many children a woman is likely to give birth to over the course of her lifetime, also rose from 1.858 to 1.862. In order to keep the population stable, the United States would need to have an average fertility rate somewhere around 2.1 children.
The increase is modest and could reverse at any time, but it marks the first bump in over seven years. The Wall Street Journal cites the nation’s improving economic conditions as one of the main reasons people are deciding to have more children. The recession led many young and under-educated Americans to put off having children until the conditions were better.
This marks the first sign of an upturn since the recession, which has many demographers relieved. During the Great Depression of the 1930’s, a similar drop in birth and fertility rates was observed. Unlike now, however, it took the country’s population much longer to recover from the Great Depression.
More recent research suggests that the hike in births is spearheaded by older women who are better-educated and more ready to raise a child. Teen births are also plummeting, which has contributed to the tightening birthrates over recent years.