According to the report, the birth rate among women in their 20s dropped more than 15% between 2007 and 2012, with most of that drop coming after the start of the Great Recession in 2008. The drop in the birth rate was higher for non-Hispanic whites than it was for non-Hispanic black and Latina women; however, all demographics saw a significant decline.
Although far fewer women in their 20s are having children, compared to historical norms, there remains a question as to how many of them will have children in their 30s.
‘It remains to be seen whether the millennial women who eschewed childbearing from 2007 to 2012 will compensate by exhibiting higher birth rates later or if this generation will have fewer children than its older counterparts,’ a summary of the report states.
The Urban Institute defines millennials as those born between 1980 and 1995.
What is the reason for the major decline in the birth rate? You guessed it: the economy. ‘As youth unemployment lags and student loan debt continues to grow, millennials are delaying having children or choosing not to have them altogether,’ the report finds.
Another important factor explored in the report is household formation: Of the millennials who have children, how many of them are married and how many are single parents? This could have a significant impact on the homeownership rate, which has been dropping steadily, because women who are single parents are statistically less likely to become homeowners.
The drop in the birth rate from 2007 to 2012 ‘marked an abrupt change from the prior three decades of fairly stable birth rates,’ the report states, adding that the drop that occurred during that period was greater than the declines seen during previous economic crises.
To view the full report, click here.