There has been 2 percent drop in the number of births in the US, but is the recession to blame? Get the answers, and see photos and video here.

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Since the beginning of the decade, the birth rate has been on a steady incline, but 2008 showed the first drop of the decade. Some point to the public’s fear of economic instability, a correlation which they’ve attributed to the 2 percent drop.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, there were close to 4.5 million babies born in the United States in 2008, which was close to 68,000 less than 2007. Given that more babies were born in 2007 than nearly any other year in history, we shouldn’t be too concerned over a slight drop, should we?

Normally there wouldn’t be too much concern over such a decrease, but as the Associated Press reported last week, “the (2 percent) drop seems to break an usual trend…births had been rising since 2002, and birth rates had been increasing in women of different age groups.”

Another connection between the economy and the birth rate came out of Florida and California: both states had the biggest decline in births, while suffering from some of the worst housing-market troubles.

Sociologist Andrew Hacker seems to concur with the theory that the recession played a role, telling the New York Times:

“Children are the most expensive item in every family’s budget, especially given all the gear kids expect today. So it’s a good place to cut back when you’re uncertain about the future.”

There are still some scientists who would like more evidence before drawing any major conclusions. Stephanie Coontz, director of research for the Council on Contemporary Families, said: “We probably can’t prove it yet, but I agree.”

What do you think? Is the economy a factor, or is it a normal fluctuation? Let us hear your opinion in the comments section below.

Check out a video about the new study below below.

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