Decline In US Birth Rate Bottomed Out In 2010, According To Report


The U.S. birth rate has plummeted in the past two years, but may be poised for a recovery depending on the state of the economy according to new research by Demographic Intelligence. The quarterly U.S. Fertility Forecast provides investors and the baby products manufacturing industry with accurate birth rate forecasts in the near term and into 2015.

Demographic Intelligence (DI) today released The U.S. Fertility Forecast(TM), which projects U.S. fertility from 2010 through 2015 for the juvenile products industry. The report indicates that U.S. births bottomed out in 2010 and are now rising–a good sign for the juvenile products industry, according to Dr. W. Bradford Wilcox, President of Demographic Intelligence.

Drawing on an extensive analysis of demographic, economic, and cultural trends, the new report provides detailed projections of birth trends in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Specifically, the report estimates overall U.S. births, first births, and births by race, ethnicity, and education for these three years. The report also provides estimates of overall U.S. births in 2015.

Three findings from The U.S. Fertility Forecast(TM) are particularly noteworthy.

U.S. births fell more than 7 percent from 4.32 million births in 2007 to 4.01 million births in 2010. Because the federal government has not yet released official birth statistics for 2010, the report’s estimate of 2010 births is a projection based on DI’s analysis of U.S. demographic trends.

Given recent changes in the economy and the demographic composition of the population, Wilcox predicts that U.S. births bottomed out in 2010 and are now beginning to rise. “The juvenile products industry has faced a tough market over the last few years, since many Americans cut back on childbearing in the wake of the Great Recession,” said Wilcox. “Our analysis indicates that recent improvements in the economy and ongoing growth in the number of women of childbearing age will lead to renewed growth in childbearing in the U.S., which is a good omen for the juvenile products industry.”

Demographic Intelligence has developed a model for projecting U.S. birth trends that has proved about 98 percent accurate in providing estimates for U.S. births in 2007, 2008, and 2009. Wilcox is confident that DI estimates will prove similarly accurate moving forward.

“This new report fills a critical gap for executives and analysts working in the juvenile products industry,” noted Wilcox. “After all, the U.S. Census Bureau birth projections are not calibrated to changes in the economy and culture, and academic research doesn’t typically provide fine-grained projections of U.S. births on a short- or medium-term basis. Thus, Demographic Intelligence gives companies a clear sense of the demographic road ahead.”

Bruce Crain, President and Chief Executive Officer of Kid Brands, Inc.., commented, “We believe that the Demographic Intelligence survey provides valuable insights into both the causes of the recent decline and the anticipated rebound in U.S. births. The forecast corroborates our belief that an improvement in macroeconomic conditions could lead to a more favorable U.S. marketplace over the next few years. We are therefore encouraged by the outlook for U.S. births, as pregnancy intentions and births are a core driver of consumer sales for the infant and juvenile industry and Kid Brands’ products specifically. Given our leadership position in the industry and our strategic growth initiatives to expand into new product categories and channels, we believe we are well-positioned to take advantage of any demographic upswing.”

The new report is also drawing support from the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association. “Reports such as The U.S. Fertility Forecast provide tremendous value to JPMA members allowing them to successfully meet the demands of parents nationwide,” commented Jason Macari, Chairman of JPMA.

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