Birth rates drop for third year in a row

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - Birth rates have dropped for a third year in a row in the United States.

The report revealed the total number of births in the United States declined from 4,130,665 in 2009 to 4,000,279 in 2010.

Birth rates also declined among women in their late twenties and thirties. Twenty-seven-year-old Leah Shipman said she and her husband purposely waited to have a baby. "It was a conscious decision," she said. "Well, first of all, I wanted to make sure I married the right person. We just wanted to be financially ready so that we could be good parents."

The birth rate for unmarried mothers also declined to 47.7 per 1,000 unmarried mothers in 2010 from 49.9 in 2009.

Researchers cite the economy as a possible reason or the drop in birth rates. The Shipmans said they wanted to be as prepared as possible. "We looked at our budget and made sure we were financially ready, and had a nice house and both have good, reliable vehicles."

The Shipman baby arrived at 1:30 p.m. Now, they want to maintain a secure nest. "We'll both keep our jobs. We have good health insurance. We'll set up college funds and that type of thing for him and life insurance, I'm sure."

Births at the NEA Baptist Women's Center and Saint Bernard's Health Care slightly decreased, similar to the national decline.

The one category with an increase in pregnancies is among women in their forties, from 10 births per 1,000 women in 2009 to 10.2 in 2010. The increase is the highest birth rate for women in their forties since 1967.

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