U.S. Births Reach All Time High
The year 2007 was the year that a record 4.31 million babies were born in the United States. Statistics show that the surge in numbers was due, in large part, to the growing numbers of unmarried adult women giving birth. It is estimated that a whopping 1.7 million, or 40 percent, of all births were from those who were not married.
A report released by the National Center for Health Statistics shows an increase in both birth rates and the proportion of births, as well as an increase in the number. Demographer Stephanie Ventura, who worked on the report, indicates that all measures of childbearing by unmarried women have been steadily climbing since 2002.
In 2007, 60 percent of women 20-24 were unmarried, which is up from 51.6 percent in 2002. Women ages 25-29 who gave birth while unmarried came in at 32.2 percent in 2007 compared to 25 percent in 2002. For ages 15-19, almost 86 percent were unmarried, compared to 80 percent in 2002. Additionally, the overall U.S. fertility rate was at its highest since 1990.
Researchers maintain that the 2007 statistics do not suggest a "baby boom" as seen in the 1950s. The high numbers today are attributed to a large population rather than individuals having more children.
Still, 2007 data represents statistics from a world prior to today's economic crisis. The 2009 data will be the first year to reflect the effect of the economy on births. Typically, births decline during a recession. However, some scholars believe that with greater numbers of women in the workforce being laid off, it may present them with an opportunity to have a child. Birth rates may actually rise during this latest recession.
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