Fewer Unintended Pregnancies Contribute to All-Time Low U.S. Fertility Rate, New Research Says

The U.S. birth rate has been decreasing for the last decade, reaching a historic low in 2017. New research from a team of economists suggests that much of this decline is due to reductions in unintended births.

Kasey Buckles, Brian and Jeannelle Brady Associate Professor of economics at the University of Notre Dame, and her co-authors, Melanie Guldi at the University of Central Florida and Lucie Schmidt at Williams College, found that the number of births that were likely unintended has fallen 16 percent since 2007. This drop accounts for more than a third of the overall decline in births in the U.S. over that period, and is driven by declines in births to young women.

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February 5, 2019

Health and SocietyCollege of Arts and LettersEconomicsKasey BucklesResearchWilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities