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A 4-day-old newborn baby lies in a baby bed in the maternity ward of a hospital on August 12, 2011.
The recession impacted the life of Americans far and wide, but perhaps no group was hurt harder than the Millennial generation.
Generation Y has entered a job economy that’s forced them to postpone marriage, and delay purchasing homes and cars, but their lack of economic growth has also led a decline of birthrates compared to past generations.
“In terms of what we’re seeing over the last couple of years, and that’s largely coming from government stats, and that’s a result of the economy," said Jordan Weissmann of The Atlantic. "People are looking at their economic situation and saying, ‘No, I can’t afford a kid.’ If you look at government statistics, for a family that makes under $60,000 a year, it takes about $8 to $10, 000 to raise a kid in a two child household...in a year. It’s an expensive choice to have a child. If you look at Gen Y...it has greater underemployment, greater unemployment, a lot more student debt than past generations so having children just doesn’t make sense.”
The delay in starting a family has greater impact than just a lower birthrate and population. Weissman says Millennials' decision to delay childbearing has finaicial impact on many other areas of the economy.
"Why do people buy houses? Largely they want a place to raise a family. When you delay having a family, it delays the necessity of going out and buying a home," he said. "It seems when we go through these periods of great economic stagnation, people rationally determine maybe it’s not such a good idea to have a kid."
Have you noticed a difference in this generation and having children? What do you think of it?
Jordan Weissmann, associate editor at The Atlantic