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US fertility rates hit the lowest level ever recorded during the first quarter of 2017, reflecting both biological and social changes among the population, including delaying child-bearing and electively choosing not to have children. The current downward trend started in 2007-2008 shortly before the global economic crisis, which could have affected financial resources and planning decisions, and has only recently slowed to a decrease of about 1 percent annually as of 2015.
US fertility patterns, like those of many other developed countries, highlight differences in social norms that contribute to divergent fertility rates relative to global trends. For example, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most popular age for childbirth is women aged 30-34 years, a recent shift from the 25-29 year old age group. By comparison, the global average is a full decade younger, with women aged 20-24 years old giving birth at higher rates than any other age group.
Socio-economic factors and government policies create financial incentives and social safety nets for families that influence fertility rates while also alter life expectancy and immigration trends that ultimately determine net population growth. For many economies globally, including the US, declining fertility rates are likely a new permanent dynamic in government planning.
The US Economy Data Brief provides a comprehensive and interactive overview of leading US economic and financial indicators, including but not limited to GDP, inflation and prices, economic activity, financial accounts, debt figures, the labor market, and so much more.