Births surged during the immigration/housing bubble of the Bush years, especially among unmarried Mexican immigrants, then fell sharply during the Great Recession. Births rose slightly in 2014, seemingly due to economic better times, but have fallen ever since. Despite the strong economy, the total fertility rate (estimated births per woman per lifetime) dropped 2% in 2018 to 1.73.
Births to teenage mothers have been falling steadily since the spike upward during the Crack Era of around 1991, which is mostly good news. But now the declines in births are drifting up the age ladder, with the 2018 birthrate dropping all the way up into the mid-30s, rising only in the 35-44 range.
I’m starting to wonder if this recent downturn of 2015-2018 is less due to the economy than to the Unhappiness Explosion of the Late Obama Age Collapse, which seems to be hitting younger women hardest. Whether the rise in unhappiness is due to social media, wokeness, or something else is still up for debate.