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United States Heading to European-Style Fertility

The end of distinctively high levels of fertility in the United States is at hand, according to the 1st Quarter edition of the U.S. Fertility ForecastTM from Demographic Intelligence. Driven by declines in Hispanic fertility and a sluggish economic recovery, the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) in the U.S. is predicted to fall to a 25-year low this year, 1.87 children per woman, from a recent high of 2.12 per children per woman in 2007


“Compared to most developed countries, the United States has enjoyed unusually high levels of fertility, averaging slightly below the replacement level of 2.1 children per woman for the last twenty-five years,” said Sam Sturgeon, Ph.D., president of Demographic Intelligence. “But we think that the era of exceptional American fertility is over. The U.S. is now moving to a European-style fertility pattern, where the United States TFR will be closer to 1.9 children per woman for the near term.” Drawing on an extensive analysis of demographic, economic, and cultural trends, the new report from DI provides detailed projections of U.S. birth trends in 2013, 2014, and 2015.
Three findings from The U.S. Fertility ForecastTM are particularly noteworthy:
• The U.S. total fertility rate (TFR) will fall more than 10 percent from 2.12 children per woman in 2007 to 1.87 in 2013, according to the forecast. Fertility rates have not been this low in the U.S. since the 1980s.
• This fertility decline is being driven by Hispanic women, who are having markedly fewer children. In fact, the Hispanic TFR fell from 2.84 in 2007 to a predicted 2.20 in 2013. “I don’t think high levels of fertility among Hispanic women are coming back, given that fertility has also fallen in Mexico to a TFR of about 2.25,” said Sturgeon.
• Fertility fell most among less educated and young women in the wake of the Great Recession. The report finds that births fell, from 2007 to 2012, more than
19 percent among women with a high school degree or less. They also fell more than 16 percent among women aged 24 and younger over this period. “Clearly, younger and less-educated women have been hit hardest by the recession and it shows in their childbearing patterns,” said Sturgeon.
The U.S. Fertility ForecastTM is typically more than 98 percent accurate in predicting U.S. birth trends. The forecast model proved 99.92 percent accurate in predicting total
2011 births.
“This report fills a critical gap for executives and analysts working in the health care and juvenile products industries,” noted Dr. Sturgeon. “DI’s projections are particularly important because the economic and cultural drivers of fertility are changing so much today. Thus, Demographic Intelligence gives companies a clear sense of the demographic road ahead.” # # # About Demographic Intelligence Demographic Intelligence (DI) is the premier provider of U.S. birth forecasts and fertility analytics for businesses with an interest in birth trends in the United States. DI provides reports and consulting services to companies in the following sectors: juvenile products, healthcare, media, financial services, consumer food, and household products.
Demographic Intelligence is advised in its work by three leading demographers:
Princeton economist Alicia Adsera, University of Pennsylvania demographer Hans-Peter Kohler, and University of North Carolina demographer Philip Morgan.


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