FAMILY

Baby Bust? Experts anticipate fewer births during pandemic, warn of consequences

Jun 24, 2020, 10:30 AM
mom's medical costs...
The number of births in the U.S. is on the rise for the first time since 2014. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images.)
(Photo courtesy of Getty Images.)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — The coronavirus pandemic is taking a toll on the number of births in this country — and experts say that could have some serious consequences in the future. 

Baby bust: births and the pandemic

The info from Demographic Intelligence comes after they released a new COVID Family Survey this week. Findings from that survey indicate that as many as 3% of American women who were thinking about having children said they would delay their plans.

3% may not seem like a lot, but when spread over the entire country it means possibly hundreds of thousands of fewer births during the pandemic.

Local officials studying birth rates say the sudden decline actually isn’t the most concerning development. Rather, they are watching to see if this becomes a long-term trend.

“The uncertainty caused by COVID 19, with the dual public health and economic crises, will certainly put additional pressure on young families,” said Pamela S. Perlich, director of demographic research for the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah. “It is the cumulative effect of many years of declining fertility rates that really matters.”

Experts say the rate of births tend to go down anytime there is a major hardship facing the country, whether that’s a pandemic or economic troubles. Statistics taken from the recent Great Recession and the 1918 Spanish flu back that up.

Economic consequences

Not surprisingly, a low birth rate can have a compounding effect on the economy. When it comes to the labor market, an adequate supply of employees is vital to sustaining a healthy economy.

Experts also are thinking of programs like Social Security. Falling birth rates could have a dramatic impact on a program that’s based on younger people paying the benefits that older people withdraw.

“The economic impacts of lower fertility are so enormous, they can actually be difficult to spot,” said Lyman Stone, Demographic Intelligence’s chief information officer. “Think of people living in places with declining populations like Detroit or Appalachia. Even in economic boom times, they just can’t sell their houses for very much, because each generation is smaller than the last one. Instead of being a savings vehicle, housing ‘wealth’ becomes a liability when population declines.”

Today’s Top Stories

Family

Utah's Morning News Host Amanda Dickson with her husband, Aaron....
Amanda Dickson

Opinion: To honor Aaron, a father’s love for his children

This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.
13 days ago
The south temple tower is pictured....
Mark Jackson

Downtown South Temple Tower gets first-ever office tower to residential transformation

The South Temple Tower will become a multifamily tower and will feature studios and one-and-two bedroom units.
13 days ago
Utah Foster Care puts on Chalk Art Festival in The Gateway....
Waverly Golden

Utah Foster Care to hold Chalk Art Festival

Over 100 artists will compete in the Chalk Art Festival, presented by Utah Foster Care, over the weekend.
14 days ago
The front of Primary Children’s Hospital is pictured....
Amie Schaeffer

Primary Children’s Hospital ranked as one of nation’s best children’s hospitals

Primary Children’s Hospital is the pediatric specialty teaching hospital for the University of Utah and has been recognized as one of the nation’s best.
16 days ago
A Heber police officer delivered a DoorDash order....
Mark Jones

11-year-old boy to be honored for saving his sister’s life

An 11-year-old boy from Heber City is credited with saving his 14-year-old sister's life Sunday in a backyard swimming pool.
17 days ago
break car window dog...
Mark Jones

Tips to keeping your pets safe during hot days

Hot days can sometimes spell trouble for pets. Keeping pets out of hot cars, off of hot pavement and off of hot balconies are things pet owners can do to keep them safe.
20 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Baby Bust? Experts anticipate fewer births during pandemic, warn of consequences