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CDC Estimates Teen Birth Rates Down by 4%

The CDC just released preliminary numbers suggesting that teen birth rates declined by 4% from 2008 to 2009.

The 2009 preliminary estimate of registered births for the United States was 4,131,019, 3 percent less than 2008 (4,247,694) (Tables 1-3 and Figure 1) [2]. Births declined for all race and Hispanic origin groups, down 4 percent for Hispanic women, 2 percent for non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black and American Indian or Alaska Native (AIAN) women, and 1 percent for Asian or Pacific Islander (API) women. Early birth counts through June 2010 suggest continued decline [3].

A Washington Post story pointed out that less women, overall, were having babies. They attributed the decline to the recession.

"When money is very tight, all of us think harder about taking risks, expanding our families, taking on new responsibilities," Brown said. "Now I know that teens may not be as savvy about money as those in their 20s and 30s - they probably don't stress over 401(k)s like the rest of us - but many teens live with financially stressed adults, and they see neighbors and older friends losing jobs and even losing houses. So they, too, feel the squeeze and may be reacting to it by being more prudent.... Maybe part of tightening our belts includes keeping our zippers closed, too!"

That fits with earlier research released in the spring by the Pew Research Center, which found that states hit hardest by the recession experienced the biggest drops in births.

What do you all think?


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