This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Thursday, July 26, 2012

People Still Postponing Babies in the US

The USA Today that was shoved under our door in the hotel here in Savannah, Georgia has the big headline "National birthrate lowest in 25 years." This isn't really big news, and I commented on this trend nearly two years ago. What is interesting, though, is that the story emanated not from the US National Center for Health Statistics, but from a demographics firm--Demographic Intelligence--

--a Charlottesville, Va., company that produces quarterly birth forecasts for consumer products and pharmaceutical giants such as Pfizer and Procter & Gamble.
Marketers track fertility trends closely because they affect sales of thousands of products from diapers, cribs and minivans to baby bottles, toys and children's pain relievers.
The less-educated and Hispanics have experienced the biggest birthrate decline while the share of U.S. births to college-educated, non-Hispanic whites and Asian Americans has grown
"What that tells you is that births have clearly been affected by the economy," says Sam Sturgeon, president of Demographic Intelligence. "And like any recession, it doesn't hit all people equally, and it hit some people much harder than others."
And the US Today reporter tracked down others with useful comments:
Many young adults are unemployed, carrying big student loan debt and often forced to move back in with their parents — factors that may make them think twice about starting a family.
"The more you delay it, the more you delay the possibility of a second or third child," says Stephanie Coontz, director of research and public education at the Council on Contemporary Families. "This is probably a long-term trend that is exacerbated by the recession but also by the general hollowing out of middle-class jobs. There's a growing sense that college is prohibitively expensive, and yet your kids can't make it without a college degree," so many women may decide to have just one child.


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