For the first time since 2007, the year prior to the Great Recession, the birth rate among American women has increased. Some experts are suggesting it’s a sign that the economy is finally starting to stabilize.
According to a study recently unveiled by the National Center for Health Statistics, the birth rate among U.S. women aged 15 to 44 went up one-percent between 2013 and 2014. It’s a small increase but a significant one, as it’s the first time in roughly eight years that the rate has actually increased.
In fact, there were just under four million births in 2014–the most since 2010.
Experts like Carl Haub, a demographer with the Population Reference Bureau, believe the statistic reflects a new trend in the American economy. “The decline of the birth rate over the past few years can be attributed to the recession,” noted Haub, who said he was not particularly surprised by the change.
Laura Lindbergh, a research scientist at the New York- and Washington, D.C.-based Guttmacher Institute, agrees with Haub. “I think as people feel their paycheck is more stable, it feels like a safe environment to have a child in,” Lindberg said.
And there are other signs the economy is headed in the right direction. Statistics recently released by the Department of Labor show that there were 223,000 new jobs in April 2015. Meanwhile, the Department of Commerce says that consumer spending grew 1.2-percent in the month of May.
Interestingly, while the birth rate among adult women increased between 2013 and 2014, teen births have actually declined in recent years. In fact, in 2014 there were just under 250,000 teen births in the U.S., less than half the number recorded in 1970.