Why Millennials Have the Lowest Birth Rates Ever

ByAnisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
Apr 2015
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Photo: Thinkstock

Remember that economic recession from 2007-2009? Blame it for declining birth rates among millennials.

A new report says it isn’t career ambitions or innovations like egg freezing that make millennial women (women in their twenties) the slowest generation to have kids in US history; it’s financial hardship.

Financial hardship “causes young women who aren’t worried about the biological clock to say, ‘Things are tough right now. Let me put this off because I can,’” says Nan Astone, co-author of the Urban Institute study. The study found that birth rates of women in their twenties dipped 15 percent between 2007 and 2012. And these declines occurred across all races.

Marriage rates are on the decline, too. Pew Research Center data says one in five adults over the age of 25 have never been married as of 2012, compared to one in ten in 1960.

No ring, no baby? There may be a connection. The Urban Institute study also links financial hardship to the slowdown of “I do’s.”

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