USA: Inflation hits households and birth rate falls

USA: Inflation hits households and birth rate falls

It costs at least $300,000 to raise a child in the United States, a number that continues to rise due to rising inflation in the country and which is undoubtedly influencing the decline in the birth rate among Americans.

This was estimated by the Brookings Institution in a Wall Street Journal report.

According to the study by the Washington DC-based non-profit research center, founded in 1916, the effort it would take for a middle-income couple with two children is $310,605, averaging $18,271 per year for the small or tiny newborns through age 17 years.

The number has risen sharply in recent months due to rising inflation nearing a four-decade high.

The Brookings Institution refers to a previous government estimate adjusted for inflation trends, noting that the multi-year total is up $26,011, more than 9%, from an estimate based on the inflation rate two years ago. 19 pandemic.

The estimate covers a variety of expenses, including shelter, food, clothing (which increases much more sharply in the colder parts of the country), medical care and childcare.

There are also other necessities such as diapers, haircuts, sports equipment, physical education or dance classes.

“A lot of people will think twice before having a first child or even another child because everything costs more,” said Isabel Sawhill, a researcher at Brookings.

He added that the rise in family-raising spending could disproportionately hit low-income households, a trend already being felt in the country.

The high costs that a couple faces when it comes to increasing the family has an impact on the decline in birth rates, which have fallen significantly in the United States over the past 30 years, and especially the last three years .

This trend is particularly appreciated by the group of women in their 20s and 30s who, according to a study, have chosen to postpone motherhood until they find financial and emotional stability in their lives.

In the last two years, that rate has fallen again, partly due to the Covid-19 pandemic: the population grew by just 7.4% in the last decade, the smallest increase since the 1930s, according to the Census Bureau.

The high cost of the “motherhood curse” is borne by women when it comes to having children.

Women in particular have achieved greater economic independence, a trend that will only increase over the years.

In particular, the pandemic and economic downturn resulted in around 300,000 fewer births in 2021, according to estimates by the Brookings Institution.