Wednesday, April 07, 2010

US birthrate dips, and do teen pregnancies: it's good news and bad news; demographic winter?

The “Politics & The Nation” secion on p A3 of the Washington Post on April 7 has a major story by Rob Stein, “Nation’s overall birthrate falls 2 percent; Researchers say data support link to poor economy,” link here.

The nation’s overall birthrate dropped by 2% from 2007 to 2008. The drop was larger in some states with bigger economic and foreclosure problems, such as Arizona.

2008 also marked a return to a decline in teenage pregnancy, after a couple of years of increase.

Officials are pleased with the decline in teen pregnancy. A spot on the NBC Today show on April 7 depicted a 15 year old mother (who probably could not be so legally) as having lost her childhood for having 100% responsibility for another human being, because of her acts.

Sorry, but given the eldercare crisis and the tendency in some families to expect older siblings to raise younger ones, that kind of hype (as on the Dr. Phil show often enough) doesn’t tell the entire story. The right wing is probably going to cite today’s report on the drop in overall birthrate (more in higher income populations) as an example of “demographic winter.”

No comments: