Births Up in 2014
More Educated, Older Women Leading the Recovery;
Teen, Less-Educated Fertility Keeps Falling
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Hispanic, Unmarried Share of Births Flat
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. April 30, 2014—For the first time since the Great Recession, births are trending upwards in 2014, according to the April edition of the U.S. Fertility ForecastTM from Demographic Intelligence. Driven by improvements in the economic climate, births will rise in 2014 from a fifteen-year low of 3.94 million in 2013. The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) in the U.S. is also predicted to rise from a 25-year low of 1.87 children per woman in 2013 to 1.89 in 2014 (it was 2.12 per children per woman in 2007). Births among better-educated and older women are driving the rebound.
“The post-recession birth decline is finally over,” said Sam Sturgeon, Ph.D., president of Demographic Intelligence (DI). “The birth recovery has begun and—as with so many family trends—we are seeing the birth recovery take hold only among better-educated, more affluent, and older women. These women have been most insulated from the fallout of the Great Recession and now are benefiting the most from the recovery—and they are having more babies.”
By contrast, births have fallen markedly among less-educated, younger (including teen) mothers, and unmarried women. “Young adults and less-educated adults have been hit particularly hard by the fallout of the Great Recession,” said Sturgeon. “This is why fertility has fallen precipitously among the most vulnerable women in our society. Indeed, one reason that the rate of nonmarital childbearing has fallen since 2007 is that younger and less educated women are having fewer children.”
Drawing on an extensive analysis of demographic, economic, and cultural trends, the new report from DI provides detailed projections of U.S. birth trends in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Among the trends highlighted by DI:
- The share of births to women with at least some college education rose from 50% in 2007 to 58% in 2013. In 2014, births to women with at least some college education will rise from their 2013 levels.
The share of births to women with a high school degree or less fell from 50% in 2007 to 42% in 2013. In 2014, births to women with a high school degree or less will fall from their 2013 levels.
- The number and share of births to Hispanic women fell from 2007 to 2013 and has now leveled off at 23% of births. In 2014, births to Hispanic women will be about the same as they were in 2013.
- Even though the number of unmarried women of childbearing age has risen since 2007, the share of births to unmarried women has remained constant at 41%. This is because the rate of childbearing among unmarried women has fallen since 2007, and because the rate of childbearing among married women has risen since 2010.
Dr. Sturgeon said, “What we are seeing in fertility is paralleling—to a degree—what we are seeing in marriage trends in America. Americans with more education, better job opportunities, and more resources are marrying in greater numbers and they are also having more children. But family formation is down for less-educated, less-affluent, and younger Americans.”
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The U.S. Fertility ForecastTM is typically more than 98 percent accurate in predicting U.S. birth trends. The forecast model proved 99.30 percent accurate in predicting total 2012 births. “This report fills a critical gap for executives and analysts working in the health care and juvenile products industries,” noted Dr. Sturgeon. “DI’s projections are particularly important because the economic and cultural drivers of fertility are changing so much today. Thus, Demographic Intelligence gives companies a clear sense of the demographic road ahead.”
About Demographic IntelligenceDemographic Intelligence (DI) is the premier provider of U.S. birth forecasts and fertility analytics for businesses with an interest in birth trends in the United States. DI provides reports and consulting services to companies in the following sectors: juvenile products, healthcare, media, financial services, consumer food, and household products. Demographic Intelligence is advised in its work by three leading demographers: Princeton economist Alicia Adsera, University of Pennsylvania demographer Hans-Peter Kohler, and University of North Carolina demographer Philip Morgan.
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