FAMILY

Utah birth rate decline is partially due to cost, expert says

Aug 28, 2023, 12:00 PM

A baby with their mouth open....

FILE - Utah's birthrate is declining. (istockphoto.com/ArtisticCaptures)

(istockphoto.com/ArtisticCaptures)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah birth rate has been on the decline quite steadily since 2008. Now, local policy advocates are looking for ways to help families have more kids.

The Policy Project is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization. Its aim is to remove barriers to opportunity by promoting the creation of solution-based policies. 

According to Emily Bell McCormick, the founder of The Policy Project, the factors driving the decline are complicated. One reason, however, is the cost. 

Factors for Utah birth rate

According to the University of North Carolina Population Center, American’s desire to have children hasn’t changed. Young people feel more worried about the future. Factors such as the economy, affordability, and the availability of child care have raised concerns among younger people more now than ever before.

These concerns are driving Utah’s birth rate to decline, along with the rest of the United States. 

“It’s so unaffordable,” said McCormick about the cost of having children today. Societal shifts have made modern life less conducive to raising children. 

“Back in the day, [there] were parent-centric homes where people were having a lot of kids because they needed the help on the farm … now we’re all the way to the other end where the expectations on parents are so heavy, ” said McCormick.  

McCormick said that the workday does not honor the natural ebbs and flows that occur in life. Young children need to be looked after, especially before they are in school. The nine-to-five workday doesn’t account for that, according to McCormick. 

Policies to help

The Policy Project is looking at backing solutions to help families financially. McCormick said that policies need to be innovative, not make it harder to have kids. 

Proposed solutions could help increase Utah’s birth rate, or the nation’s. 

“I wanted to purchase a home first, I wanted to finish my education first. I read somewhere that if you have a master’s degree your kids have better outcomes. We have a much more informed base of child producers, essentially,” said McCormick.

Providing financial assistance to families could provide a solution. McCormick offered up more child tax credits or funding for child care, or for one parent to stay home with their children as solutions to the barrier many people are facing. 

Related reading:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Family

Heidi Thomas, left, and Meggane Vasquez, right, look at each other during the Rainbow March and Ral...

Mariah Maynes

Deer Valley to host its first Pride event, Mountain Pride Day on June 30

Deer Valley announced that it will host its first Pride festival on June 30.

22 hours ago

Utah backyard homes may become more abundant. (Megan Nielsen/Deseret News)...

Don Brinkerhoff

Utah cities are clearing the way for backyard homes

Several cities along the Wasatch Front are reportedly loosening their restrictions on so-called backyard homes.

8 days ago

Getting along with the in-laws can be a tricky - but essential - part of the marriage journey. Utah...

Emma Everett Johnson, KSL.com

Struggling with in-laws? USU experts have some advice

Struggling with in-laws? You're not alone. The University of Utah has conducted a research study to help people out who have in-law troubles.

16 days ago

Foxtails are seeds dropped by wild grass. They can become easily attached to dog fur, as well as th...

Tammy Kikuchi

Dog moms and dads, be on the lookout for foxtail seeds

Wild grass seeds called foxtails can become embedded in a dogs fur, and may require surgery to remove.

19 days ago

59% of children targeted by predators online were 15 years old or younger, according to a new study...

Alexandrea Bonilla

Online enticement grows as children are targeted at younger ages

The median age of victims of online enticement is only 15 years old. Where are online predators getting to their victims?

21 days ago

food is sorted, kids more open to food insecurity during summer months...

Britt Johnson

Summertime leaves kids vulnerable to food insecurity

The president of the Utah Food Bank said kids who rely on school breakfast and lunch will face food insecurity this summer.

23 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Utah birth rate decline is partially due to cost, expert says