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Economic hardships and fertility factor into modern struggle to have children

The falling birth rate in the United States may not be an indication that people don't want to have children, rather, it's a sign that they don't believe they can.
Emily Hales, Deseret News Modified: July 26, 2014 at 3:17 am •  Published: July 28, 2014
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The falling birth rate in the United States may not be an indication that people don't want to have children, rather, it's a sign that economic decline and fertility problems have taken their toll.

The fertility rate fell to 1.86 births per woman in 2013, down from 1.88 in 2012 and 1.89 in 2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The birth rate has been steadily decreasing since 2007, with 2013 being the lowest year since 1986. A stagnant economy that is still recovering from the Great Recession and older marriage are both partially to blame.

According to Pew Research Center, there is a correlation between the severity of the impact of the recession on individual states and the recent birth rates of those states. For instance, North Dakota, which had one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country at 3.1 percent in 2008, experienced a small increase in births (0.7 percent). Arizona had the second greatest decline in personal income in 2007, and the largest birth rate decrease of all the states in 2008.

Rick and Melissa Myrick are one couple who would like to have kids, but don't feel like it is financially feasible, The Washington Post reported. Soon after getting married, they both lost their jobs and decided to wait to have children until they were more financially stable. After deciding to try, Melissa learned that she had a medical issue that made pregnancy difficult. She tried several different techniques before learning that in vitro-fertilization was her best option. The procedure would cost at least $15,000.

Rick, who works as a union electrician, struggles to find steady work, and they don't see the procedure as financially viable under the current circumstances.

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