Study: Fewer children being born in America because of economic uncertainty

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DENVER -- It’s the opposite of the Baby Boom after World War II. Things in the U.S. have slowed down quite a bit. In fact, 151,000 women are choosing not to have children, at least until 40, or not at all. Women, who were between 20 and 24 in 2008, have a much different take on family life.

Forget the baby giggles and even sweet baby smell, if you take out the emotion, there’s a bottom line. Kids are expensive.

"Children have never been a good economic investment,” said Metro State Economics Professor, Kishore Kulkarni.

When times are tough and finances are tight, new research seems to indicate kids are the first thing to go.  Kulkarni said, "Children bearing is quite related to the psychological state of the population." He added, "When the general public is in a good mood, people have more children. When they are in a bad mood, they don't have as many children."

According to a new report published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, women who were in their early 20’s during the Great Recession are choosing to put off motherhood, some even forgoing it all together.

Jaime Short is waiting on having kids and said, "I think a lot of women do that. They wait until they're settled in their career. I know my mom did that. They waited until they had enough money and they were settled and in a house and stuff."

The study finds 427,000 fewer children will be born over the course of a couple of decades. Kulkarni said it means there will be less money going into social security and more money coming out as the Baby Boomers continue to age. But, he said, overall the effects will be small. "It's very interesting but very insignificant as far as the whole economy is concerned." In other words, fewer babies will be just fine.  “We can easily accommodate that in the total structure of the economy."

Additionally, the authors of the study found no long-term effect on childbearing for women of other ages.

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