Return Of The Baby-Making Economy

Kasia Klimasinska reports that fertility rates are creeping back up in states such as South Dakota, where the unemployment rate is just 3.8 percent:

Besides South Dakota, 18 other states, including Idaho, Kansas, North Dakota, Texas and Ohio had 2012 fertility rates higher than recession lows, according to an analysis by Daniel Schneider, a scholar in health policy research at the University of California at Berkeley. The jobless rate in those 19 states averaged 6.1 percent in August compared with a national level more than a percentage point higher. …

Economists say there’s a link between fertility and economic well-being. North Dakota, where an oil boom has helped deliver the nation’s lowest unemployment rate, is a case in point: its fertility rate rose 4.1 percentage points between 2010 and 2012, the largest recovery in the nation, according to Schneider. States that fared better during the recession, including North Dakota, had no or little fertility declines, while hardest-hit states, such as Arizona, Nevada, California, Florida, and Georgia, posted some of the biggest drops.