One might be surprised….
One might NOT….
A pandemic positive, eh?
What’s happening: The increase in birth rates was more pronounced for first-time mothers and college educated women. Women with less education saw continuing declines.
- Those with more education saw their financial prospects soar in 2021 and the back half of 2020, thanks to the rising value of the stock and housing markets — making it a good time to have a baby, economically at least.
- Much of that cohort was able to work from home, which gave parents more time and flexibility to deal with the life changes and demands that pregnancy and a new baby bring.
For example: The switch to working remotely in 2020 pushed forward the decision to start a family for Anne Lopez, a 32-year-old tech worker in San Jose.
- Lopez credits the fact she and her husband could spend less time commuting and more time parenting. It was “the key accelerator,” she said.
Yes, but: More work needs to be done to definitively isolate the baby boom’s causes, Schwandt said. Another reason for the uptick could be that women had a harder time accessing abortion care during the pandemic.
The intrigue: Recessions usually trigger a drop in birth rates; people don’t want babies when times are hard. Not this time. Economists credit the massive influx of government spending.
What to watch: The researchers also looked at birth data from California in 2022 and found that the uptick there has continued, suggesting the pandemic changed the trajectory of fertility in the U.S. longer-term.
- “The pandemic baby dividend might keep paying,” said Schwandt….