The teen birth rate in the U.S. is the lowest it’s been in 70 years, according to new data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The year of 2011 saw about 330,000 teen births, which is 8 percent lower than the previous year and the lowest for a single year since 1946. The 2011 numbers also reveal that the overall downward trend in teen births that began in 1991 continues. While some economists think it’s great that the teen birth rate continues to decline, they warn not to get too excited since the ailing economy seems like a likely cause — and the teen birth rate could start increasing once the labor market bounces back.
The University of Maryland’s Associate Professor of Economics, Melissa Kearney, sees a correlation between “really high unemployment” and a lower teen birth rate. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why high unemployment would affect the birth rate for teens specifically, but she has some theories. “It’s easier to think about a married couple in their thirties delaying child birth by a year or half a year,” she told BuzzFeed Shift. “A lot of these teens are 18, 19 years old, and it’s feasible that they might think it’s harder for them to support a baby. It might be harder for them to get financial support from their parents if their parents are out of work.”the original article from BuzzFeed, written by Amy Odell