Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

The effects of the Great Recession on family structure and fertility

TitleThe effects of the Great Recession on family structure and fertility
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsCherlin, A, Cumberworth, E, Morgan, SP, Wimer, C
JournalAnnals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Date PublishedNov
ISBN Number00027162 (ISSN)
KeywordsDIVORCE, Fertility, Immigration, intergenerational coresidence, Marriage

Recessions can alter family life by constraining the choices that individuals and couples make concerning their family lives and by activating the family's role as an emergency support system. Both effects were visible during and after the Great Recession. Fertility declined by 9 to 11 percent, depending on the measure, and the decline was greater in states that experienced higher increases in unemployment. The decline was greater among younger women, which suggests postponement rather than forgoing of births. The fall in fertility was sharpest for Hispanics, a result the authors attribute to a drop in Mexican immigration, which reduced the number of recent immigrants, the group with the highest fertility. Substantial increases occurred in the percentage of young adults, single and married, who lived with their parents, augmenting a long-term trend toward intergenerational coresidence. There was a slight decline in divorce and separation in states with higher unemployment. © American Academy of Political & Social Science 2013.