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Birth rate slows for young women

WASHINGTON — Millennial women had the lowest birth rate of any generation in US history, and a sputtering economy appears to be the biggest reason, a study from the Urban Institute shows.

From 2007 to 2012 — just before and right after the recession — birth rates among American women in their twenties declined by 15 percent, the report found. Financial hardship ‘‘causes young women who aren’t worried about the biological clock to say, ‘Things are tough right now. Let me put this off because I can,’ ” said co-author Nan Astone, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute.

Birth rates in the United States remained fairly stable from the ’80s to the early aughts, she said, but began to dip by 2008. By 2012, millennials reproduced at a pace that would lead to 948 births per 1,000 women — ‘‘by far the slowest pace of any generation,’’ the report said.


From 2007 or 2012, the rate dropped 26 percent (1,570 to 1,158) for Hispanic women; 14 percent (1,216 to 1,046) for African-Americans, and 11 percent for white women (976 to 866).

College students graduated into a tougher job market, and many opted to live with their parents as rents increased across the country.

Washington Post