The year 2007 marked a record high number of births in the U.S.—4,316,233. Since that time, births have been declining, even as the U.S. population continues to grow. Preliminary data for 2009 indicate that the number of births dropped to 4,131,018—the lowest number since 2004. Provisional data show that in 2010 births numbered just over 4 million (4,007,000).1
A state-level look at fertility illustrates the strength of the correlation between lower birth rates and economic distress. States experiencing the largest economic declines in 2007 and 2008 were most likely to experience relatively large fertility declines from 2008 to 2009, the analysis finds. States with relatively minor economic declines were likely to experience relatively small declines.