Economy Slowing Down Birth Rates
DULUTH - Reports show the nation’s population is growing at its slowest rate since the Great Depression.
Officials say the culprit is the economy as couples wait to have kids due to financial instability.
"He completes me," said Melony Brantley who is waiting to have kids.
Sean and Melony Brantley have been married almost a year.
"He's kind of my soul mate,” said Melanie. We have a lot of fun together, his face is turning red."
The Brantley's like many married couples want to start a family.
"For a boy it's Alex,” said Sean.
“For a girl we want to name her Brittney," said Melony.
After marriage they soon realized having a little bundle of joy would be a huge financial burden.
"Kids are expensive,” said Melony. We have to buy food for them, we have to you know get clothes, things like that."
They say because of the declining economy they are not able to get financially stable.
"Our budget is so tight right now,” said Melony.
They say it took them over a year just to find their current jobs.
"Sometimes I would come home and cry because there was nothing, just nothing out there."
Sean will soon start school and Melony graduates May 19, 2012.
"I don't see myself finding a job anytime soon with my major or my background or anything,” said Melony.
The Brantley’s say because of the shaky economy, they're dream to start a family is on hold.
"It'd be really hard for us to support ourselves, which is kind of difficult,” said Melony. Throwing another person into the equation is hard."
The Brantley’s are a representation of millions of other couples holding off on having kids until the economy turns around.
"If you're unemployed you cannot sustain yourself, so why have a child?” UWS Superior Assistant Professor of Economics Dr. Zamira Simkins said.
Demographers say this decision to wait to start a family is decreasing the population.
"We see it in times of economic downturns we always see an impact in the birth data,” MN State Demographic Center Research Analyst Specialist Andi Egbert said.
According to reports the United States is now experiencing the slowest rate of births since the Great Depression.
Demographers say the U.S. population is declining every year.
From 2010 to 2011 the population only grew .7%.
"That was the lowest growth rate in any single year since 1945," said Egbert.
Economists say while there may be individual benefits deterring having a baby.
"At least you’re not bringing in a child into a life you cannot take care of them," said Simkins.
It's not so good for the stability of the nation.
"So whose going to sustain the older people if fewer younger people are coming in? said Simkins.
Simkins says right now there are five working adults to each retiree.
With baby boomers hitting retirement age and less kids being born, they predict an increase in financial burdens for generation x.
"The three working people would have to pay more taxes to pay social security and Medicare to the retirees," said Simkins.
While the recession may be over and things are turning around.
"We're no longer getting worse, we're starting to recover a little bit,” said Simkins.
The Brantley’s say times are still tough and they continue to keep waiting.
"It really depends on you know if I find a better job or if he finds a better job," said Melony.
To start the family they always dreamed of.
"A boy and a girl," said Melony.
Minnesota's population grew in the past year by 35,000.
In St. Louis County the amount of births and death were the same.