The birth rate for Latino women dropped a dramatic 6 percent last year, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Experts say the decreased rate is due to the combined effects of the recession and a teen birth rate that has been falling for 20 years. Hispanics were disproportionately hit by the floundering economy, according to a recent article from FoxLatinoNews. It also said 2011 marked the fourth year in a row births declined in the U.S., with experts calling it more proof that the weak economy continues to quash enthusiasm for having children.
A dropping birth rate is a relatively new national trend. Births had been rising since the late 1990s and hit an all-time high of more than 4.3 million in 2007. There were fewer than 4 million births last year, the lowest since 1998, according to the report.
The report found that:
- The birth rate for single women fell for the third straight year, dropping by 3 percent from 2010 to 2011. The birth rate for married women rose 1 percent. Most married women are older and more financially secure.
- The birth rate declined 2 percent for black women, remained the same for whites and increased for Asian-American and Pacific Islanders.
- Birth rates fell for women in their early 20s, down 5 percent from 2010 — the lowest mark for women in that age group since 1940, when comprehensive national birth records were first compiled. For women in their late 20s, birth rates fell 1 percent.
- Birth rates held steady for women in their early 30s, and increased for women 35 and older. Experts say older women usually have better jobs or financial security.
- Birth rates for teenage mothers have been decreasing since 1991 and hit another historic low. There were 330,000 teen births last year, the fewest since 1946. The teen birth rate fell 8 percent last year.