Fertility Behavior of Millennials before and after the Great Recession
Nan M. Astone, Urban Institute
Steven P. Martin, Urban Institute
H. Elizabeth Peters, Urban Institute
From 2007 to 2012 the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) in the United States dropped from 2.1 to 1.9. The decline in teenage birth rates over the period has received a great deal of attention. Less noted, however, is the substantial decline in the birth rates to women in their twenties, an age group that accounts for about half of all births that take place in a given year. In this paper we examine the fertility behavior of millennials in their 20s and consider what have been the main demographic drivers of the decline in birth rates between 2007 and 2012, years just prior to and after the Great Recession. Three factors—declines in marriages, declines in marital fertility rates and declines in non-marital fertility rates—contributed to the overall decline. However, the relative contribution of these factors differs substantially by race and ethnicity.