The Economics of Baby Making

According to the California State Demographer the recession has put a crimp in our baby making style.  The 526,774 actual births in 2009 were down 24,793 from 2008’s 551,567. This drop is larger than any California has experienced since 1994.  The State’s latest forecast says California’s total annual births will increase about 65,500 (12.4 percent) from the 2009 level, to total over 592,000 by 2019. California’s total fertility rate is now below replacement level (2.1) and is expected to fall below 2 by 2019.

The fertility rate fell for all racial or ethnics groups but only Hispanics maintained fertility rates at or above replacement levels.  But the forecast estimated that Hispanic birth rates will also slow from the decade high of 2.92 to 2.28 average live births per woman during her reproductive life.  The replacement rate is 2.1.

It seems when the economy turns bad we postpone having babies.  This is fine for guys but that biological clock keeps ticking for women.  The Demographer’s projected increase in birth rate reflects the typical recovery pattern that better times put us in the mood again.


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