How the Recession Affects Birthrates, Marriages and Divorces

How has the recession affected how often people marry, have children or divorce? 

Keep in mind, this data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is not rock-solid. Because of inconsistencies in the way information is reported, the CDC says some data that might appear to occur in one month might not have happened in a following or preceding month. So look for trends.

I have been interested in birth figures in recession years. Several states like Texas, California, Florida have seen a significant drop in births in the first 11 months of last year compared to the two previous years. Why?

Some states, like Colorado, saw a measurable jump in marriages from November 2007-January 2008 to November 2008-January 2009. Nevada, Michigan, South Carolina, Tennessee and Illinois saw marriages drop in the first 11 months of last year compared to the two previous years. Why?

Many states recorded fewer divorces in the first 11 months of 2009. The CDC stats show divorces dropping in New York, Maryland and Massachusetts. Sometimes, people put off divorces in recessions because they can't afford the break-up.
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    Al Tompkins

    Al Tompkins is The Poynter Institute’s senior faculty for broadcasting and online. He has taught thousands of journalists, journalism students and educators in newsrooms around the world.


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