The research firm Demographic Intelligence says the "total fertility rate" stands at 1.87 children per woman, which is down from 2.12 in 2007. That drop is significant because the children of Baby Boomers are in childbearing age, which means the birthrate should be surging. Right now, the fertilitry rate hasn't been this low since the 1980's. If the economy improves, the fertility rate may bounce back.
Fertility fell most among women under 30 in the wake of the Great Recession. The report finds that births fell, from 2007 to 2012, more than 6 percent among women aged 25-29, 14 percent among women aged 20-24, and 20 percent among teenage women. "Clearly, younger women and their partners have been hit hardest—economically speaking—by the recession and it shows in their childbearing patterns," said Dr. Samuel Sturgeon, the president of Demographic Intelligence.
Fertility intentions among American women remain high. Despite the recession's fallout, the average American woman still intends to have more than 2.2 children over her lifetime. "Although there has been a small dip in intended fertility for women in the twenties in the wake of the recession, intended fertility remains high among most women," said Sturgeon. "If a robust economic recovery kicks in, these intentions should translate into a spike in childbearing."