4: Successive years of declining births in the U.S.
U.S. births declined for the fourth consecutive year in 2011, a trend that expert have attributed to the weak economic climate. However, last year's decrease was only 1%, not as severe as the 2 or 3% declines of other recent years. This drop in birth rates is relatively new for the U.S., where births had been growing since the late 90s, hitting an all-time high in 2007. There were over 4.3 million births that year, whereas 2011 saw fewer than 4 million. Experts theorize that the declining rates stem from women or couples who are unemployed, underemployed, or otherwise afraid they cannot afford to build a family.
Source: AP, "Baby Bust Continues: US Births Down for 4th Year," 10/3/2012
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