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California’s Birth Rate Drops

Audio

Aired 8/7/09

California was near the top of the list in a national decline in births in 2008. A new federal report shows California's birth rate dropped 2.6 percent from the previous year.

— California was near the top of the list in a national decline in births in 2008. A new federal report shows California's birth rate dropped 2.6 percent from the previous year.

Mark Mather is a demographer with the non-profit Population Reference Bureau. He says the nation saw a big drop in birth rates during the Depression. And there was a decline in the high inflation years of the 1970's.

Mather believes the current recession may be having a similar effect in California.

"California was hit particularly hard by the housing crisis, unemployment is rising, so I would think that people are feeling a little bit less optimistic about the future, and might be having second thoughts about starting a family right now," said Mather.

Last year, California had 14,500 fewer births than in 2007.

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