Birth Rates are Increasing Dramatically
We’re in the early stages of a Baby Boom in the US?
Yup. I had read that before. But only now is it starting to show up in our national birth data.
National Birth Figures
Believe it or not, what got me looking into the birth data was the young Jamie Lynn Spear’s pregnancy announcement. Then, of course, after I spent a better part of my evening reading through census figures I realized that I was scooped by USA Today this morning with their Fertility rate in USA on upswing. (Those damn journalists, doing their job and all!)
USA Today focused on the fertility rate hitting 2.1 in 2006, as a milestone “the first time since shortly after the baby boom ended that the nation has reached the rate of births needed for a generation to replace itself, an average 2.1 per woman.”
See, I can’t see how Jaime Lynn Spears’ high-profile teen pregnancy will not have an additional impact (albeit small) on a demographic shift that was already expected to be underway: younger women having more babies. Jamie Lynn is a super successful young teen star whose everyday life is already glamorized by the children’s and teen press. Now, she’ll have the gale force winds of all the mainstream media outlets following her every pregnant teen move. This will continue to reinforce the rise in teen pregnancies.
Going back to demographics, last year I had read a study concluding that from 2000 to 2015, it is expected that there will be a 17% increase in women falling into their prime childbearing years, indicating the potential of 600,000 additional births per year . This mirrors a rate only last seen during the Baby Boom. An additional growth driver, may be a generation of young women who, much like the sisters Spears, want to have larger families at a younger age. Studies have been conducted over the past decade interviewing teen-aged girls, pointing to this demographic trend.
So looking again at the figures above, not until 2006, did we start seeing a significant (3%) jump in the birth numbers. Until 2004, the numbers had stayed close to 4 million, but now we’ve seen a “break out” into new and remarkable territory (technical analysis speak from my Wall Street days), and that’s an exciting thing!