Friday, June 14, 2013

The U.S. General Fertility Rate, 1980-2010

The  graph above illustrates the variations in the U.S. general fertility rate (GFR) from 1980 to 2010.

It is likely that the recent downturn in  the American GFR has been heavily driven by the economic upheaval that hit in 2008.  The recovery from the Great Recession has been slow, and the decline of the overall U.S. fertility  rate coincided with it.

From 2002 through 2007, the general fertility rate rate climbed steadily, peaking at 69.3 live births per 1000 women, ages 15-44.  In 2010, however, the GFR had declined to 64.1.  Preliminary data suggests that, for both 2011 and 2012, the U.S. GFR had slipped to 63.2.   But perhaps as significantly, if these numbers hold up to revision, it might be the case that the U.S. general fertility rate has stabilized.

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