More money, more babies

America’s fertility rate appears to have rebounded alongside economy

After five years of significant decline, the United States’ fertility rate leveled off in 2012, seemingly due to an improving economy.

Figures from the National Center for Health Statistics show that in 2012, the nation’s fertility rate—the total number of babies born per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44—was 63, down only slightly from 2011, according to The New York Times. The fertility rate dropped by 9 percent between 2007 and 2011, a decrease demographers believe began after the recession took hold. In that period, the decline was particularly pronounced in young women and Hispanics, who were among those most affected by the recession.

Compared to many other developed countries, the U.S. still has a relatively high fertility rate. At the current rate, American women are averaging 1.9 babies over their lifetimes, down from a high of 3.8 in 1957.