Another Side Effect of the Sinking Economy: Fewer Babies!

Did the economy factor in your pregnancy plans? A new report by the Pew Research Center suggests people are less inclined to have a baby during the recession. U.S. birth rates have dropped from 69.6 births per thousand women (ages 15 to 44) in 2007 -- a record high year, with 4,316,233 births -- to 64.7 in 2010. Rates began to sharply decline in 2008, just around the time the economy started to sour, according to Pew’s analysis of economic and demographic info.

All that data implies unemployment, savings depleted by an unstable stock market, stress-inducing uncertainty about the future, and other general money woes are putting a serious damper on plans to start or expand the family -- especially considering that the cost of raising a kid jumped to an average of $226,920 in 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

This trend is consistent with past problem economies: During the Great Depression) birth rates dropped a whopping 26 perfect in the decade ending in 1936, Gretchen Livingston, the lead author of the report, told the New York Times. But the rates later picked up: “What people seem to be doing is not so much deciding not to have children, but postponing until things start to recover,” she said.

Anxious about the cost of kids? Here are over 40 ways to save on baby so you can start pocketing a little extra cash now.

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