Lisa Neidert

Lisa NeidertThe recent recession appeared to depress more than housing starts in the United States. Recently released government data show that the birth rate fell 8 percent from 2007 to 2011. In 2012, as the economy began to recover, that trend leveled off, according to a Sept. 14 article in The Economist. But the magazine cautioned against making too much of the correlation between economic growth and fertility. After all, the U.S. birth rate dropped 27 percent between 1957 and 1973 despite a strong economy. Instead, The Economist said that the tight financial times appeared to have encouraged the already established trend for women to wait longer to start a family. But even that trend can’t be generalized for the country as a whole. According to ISR researcher Lisa Neidert, women in the Northeast now typically wait to have a first child until they are between 30 and 34. But in Oklahoma and Arkansas, women usually start their families in their early 20s. Those who start at a younger age are more likely to go on to have a big family.