The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

November 30, 2012

U.S. birth rate plummets to its lowest level since 1920

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

"We've been assuming that when the baby boomer population gets most expensive, that there are going to be immigrants and their children who are going to be paying into [programs for the elderly], but in the wake of what's happened in the last five years, we have to re-examine those assumptions," he said. "When you think of things like the solvency of Social Security, for example . . . relatively small increases in the dependency ratio can have a huge effect."

The falling birth rate mirrors what has happened during other recessions. A Pew study last year found that a decline in U.S. fertility rates was closely linked to hard times, particularly among Hispanics.

"The economy can have an impact on these long-term trends, and even the immigrants that we have been counting on to boost our population growth can dip in a poor economy," said William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, noting that Hispanic women, who led the decline, occupy one of the country's most economically vulnerable groups.

Historically, once the economy rebounds after a recession, so does the birth rate, Cohn said.

But other factors may also be affecting the decline, and may not change much once the economy recovers.

A vast portion — 47 percent — of immigrants to the U.S. are of Hispanic origin. But in recent years immigration from Mexico, the biggest contributing country, has dried up; for the first time since the Great Depression, the net migration from Mexico has been zero.

Latino immigrants who have been here longer tend to adopt U.S. attitudes and behavior, including having smaller families, Suro said. He added that the sharp decline in the birth rate among Mexican immigrants may be explained by the fact that the rate was so high that there was more room for it to fall.

Text Only
Top News
  • Evergreen job fair in the works

    The Clinton Regional Development Corp. and the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce are lining up companies to participate in a job fair exclusively for the soon-to-be displaced employees of Evergreen Packaging.

    July 26, 2014

  • UPDATE: Police seek assistance in Fifth Ave. shooting investigation

    A shooting that occurred Friday morning in the 100 block of Fifth Avenue South remains under investigation by the Clinton Police Department.

    July 25, 2014

  • Brother sues W.Va. senator over business loan

    U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III faces a $1.7 million civil suit filed by a brother over a lifeline to save a family carpet business.

    July 25, 2014

  • How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement

    A little over a decade ago, federal prosecutors used keystroke logging software to steal the encryption password of an alleged New Jersey mobster, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., so they could get evidence from his computer to be used at his trial.

    July 25, 2014

  • Russia's war on McDonald's takes aim at the Filet-o-Fish

    Russia said earlier this week that it had no intention of answering Western sanctions by making it harder for Western companies to conduct business in Russia.
    But all bets are off, apparently, when you threaten the Russian waistline.

    July 25, 2014

  • Hawkeyes to offer student tickets to public

    Iowa athletic director Gary Barta says the Hawkeyes will make any unsold student football tickets available to the general public as well on Aug. 1.

    July 25, 2014

  • Old story, new twists in Gaza war

    The third Gaza war is playing out much like the first one more than five years ago: The harrowing civilian toll in Gaza is now at the center of the discourse, eclipsing the rocket attacks by Hamas militants that were the stated reason for the Israeli assault.

    July 25, 2014

  • Official: Hospital gunman intended to kill others

    A psychiatric patient ranted about a hospital gun ban before opening fire at the suburban medical complex, killing his caseworker and grazing his psychiatrist before the doctor pulled out his own weapon and fired back, authorities said Friday.

    July 25, 2014

  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • PHOTOS: Clinton Junior Baseball 2014 Tournament Winners

    Clinton Junior Baseball 2014 Tournament Winners - Majors, Minors, Pee Wee

    July 25, 2014

AP Video