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Economic Turmoil Taking Its Toll on Childbearing
Women starting families today might not think they have a lot in common with women during the Great Depression, but a new government analysis of birth data suggests otherwise. The struggling economy may be causing women of childbearing age to have fewer or no children, suggests demographer Sharon Kirmeyer of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lead author of two reports out Thursday that analyzed historical childbearing data. Census data show that in 2010, 18.8 percent of women ages 40 to 44 were childless, echoing a trend from the 1930s found in the CDC analysis. The U.S. birth rate fell by four percent between 2007 and 2009, with some researchers blaming the steepest decline in more than 30 years on the dull economy.