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How did the Great Recession affect fertility?

The Great Recession that officially began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009 had differing economic, social, and demographic consequences across the United States. Unemployment rates, mortgage foreclosures, and poverty rates rose while housing values fell, but the extent of these changes varied widely across local areas. For example, between 2006 and 2010, the unemployment rates in Nevada and Florida tripled, and poverty rates in those areas increased by more than 30 percent; in contrast, unemployment rates remained below 5 percent in Nebraska and North Dakota throughout the recession. Fertility rates also changed unevenly during the recession. The fertility rate declined at the national level, dropping from a recent high in 2007 of 69.5 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44, to 63.2 for 2012. There was, however, great variation by state, age, and ethnicity, with younger and Hispanic women showing disproportionate decreases. In this article, we look in detail at the effects of the recession on the likelihood of a pregnancy for four groups of women: married adults, cohabiting adults, unpartnered adults, and teenagers.


Family & Partnering, Family & Partnering General