Fewer People Having Kids in Recession

In the wake of the recession, the unemployment line isn’t the only thing that’s gotten longer. The list of people who aren’t having kids is growing, as well.

Nationally, the birth rate is not at its lowest level in a century, and if the trend continues society might not be able to afford critical programs.

For Charles Sidney, parenthood just couldn’t wait. His son Logan was born two years ago at the height of the recession.

“The recession, really, it's not that it doesn't mean anything, but in the grand scheme of things, if you keep plugging away, you're going to able to take care of your family and your home, and if you're able to extend to others, you will,” Sidney said.

Still, it’s clear not every would-be parent agrees. New government figures show Florida’s birth rate is down more than 8 percent from before the economic downturn. Everyone could be affected by the consequences.

The birth rate may not be the only thing going down the chute. With it, your retirement and health care may well be put in jeopardy.

That’s because social security, Medicare, even government pensions can only be kept afloat with the taxes paid by tomorrow’s workers. With fewer of those workers being born now, Robert Weissert with Florida TaxWatch calls America’s baby bust a real danger.

“How many people are there, what their tax base is, is a huge issue for that,” he said. “So, for something like a pension issue there, we're talking about - the birth rate of today will absolutely determine the tax rate of ten years from now.”

Meaning we need more kids now to guarantee our security in the future.

“When you see them smile, you see them laugh, you just forget about finances sometimes, you know, it's like, money couldn't buy me that,” said Sidney.

The timing may not be great, but Sidney points out it hardly ever is.

Economists say there’s an upside to the declining birthrate. It means fewer children enrolled in health care programs like Medicaid and Kid Care, and that could save taxpayers hundreds-of-millions of dollars in one year.


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