SE’s Andrew Beveridge in The Journal News on Drop in Birth Rates by Sydney Beveridge
In the article “Births Drop in Region Amid Sagging Economy,” Journal News reporter Jane Lerner explores the decline in birthrates in Westchester and nationwide. Looking at hospital data, demographic change and a recent study by the Pew Research Center, she examines the recession and other factors behind the trend.
Recent data from the Journal News, the Department of Health and Pew show that:
- Births at all but two hospitals in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam declined between 2000 and 2010 (often with a sharper drop after 2007).
- The total number of babies born at hospitals in the three counties declined 13 percent between 2000 and 2010 (over half the decline–seven percent–took place between 2007 and 2010).
- The birthrate dropped from 69.6 births per thousand women ages 15-44 in 2007 to 66.7 births per thousand in the same group in 2009.
- Additional preliminary data indicate a further drop to 64.7 births per thousand in 2010.
- From 2008 to 2009, birth rates dropped by 5.9 percent among Hispanic women, compared with a 2.4 percent drop among black women and 1.6 decline for white women.
She also cites Social Explorer’s Andrew Beveridge
The birth decline in the Lower Hudson Valley is likely the result of several different trends — some linked to the current bad economic times and others that have nothing to do with it, experts said.
The population in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam is aging, which in part explains the drop in babies, said Andrew Beveridge, a professor of sociology at Queens College and the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York.
“With all the empty nesters, you would expect to see fewer births,” he said.
Fewer young families are moving from the city to the suburbs as urban living becomes more popular, further reducing the number of babies born locally.
But the poor economy is likely playing some role in the drop in the number of births locally, said Beveridge, a Yonkers resident.
“When people get insecure they’re less likely to have kids,” he said.
The article ends with a look to the future:
Experts expect the region’s high unemployment rate to continue to have an impact on the number of babies being born until the economy gets significantly better.
“As a longterm trend you really do want to have kids,” Beveridge said. “Without kids, the future looks bleak longterm.”