The United States birthrate has dropped to an all-time low, threatening Baby Boomer real estate and retirement plans, according to an article by Joseph Coughlin for Forbes.

So, why are Millennials disappointing their parents and grandparents? The article suggests that it might be too costly to raise children in 2018, and those refraining from having kids are robbing granny of financial security.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention released new data showing that the birthrate has dropped to an all-time low in the United States. It seems that the Millennials just aren’t having kids, or at least they’re not having them yet. The only cohort of women showing an uptick in first time births are women over 35 years old. In fact, the rate of first time births for women between ages 40 and 44 years old doubled between 1990-2012.

Observers have suggested a number of reasons why Millennials are proving slow to have children. Some point to economics. Although the recession has been over for nearly a decade, there may be a lasting economic insecurity that is causing young would-be parents to think twice before procreating. Others assert that student debt has delayed parenthood. Perhaps.

A recent Zillow report supports these claims, stating the U.S. baby bust began at the onset of the Great Recession in 2008, when the total fertility rate dropped from a high of 2.12 births per woman in 2007 to 1.93 by 2010. While most observers expected that fertility would rebound as the economy recovered, the total fertility rate in 2016 was still down to 1.82 births per woman and even dropped to 1.76 in 2017.

 

Birth rates also declined the most in counties where home values grew the most, and between the years of 2010 and 2013, the average age of the first-time homebuyer rose from 32.5 to 35.2. So, what does this mean for Baby Boomers?

According to Coughlin, most Millennials cannot afford a new baby and a new house, so they are either waiting to have kids or skipping out on babies all together. Since the majority of Baby Boomers’ wealth is in their family-friendly homes, Millennials are costing Baby Boomers substantial income.

While Zillow’s survey suggests that hotter housing markets produce fewer babies, it does claim that the homeownership rate rose in 2017 for the first time since 2004. This may indicate that currently childless Millennials may just give grandma those children some day.  

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