The U.S. birth rate is officially looking up.
Preliminary figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found a 1% increase in the number of babies born, with births up for nearly every racial and ethnic group. The grand total? 3.98 million births in 2014.
(Now that’s a lot of diapers.)
Government statisticians also found decreases in cesarean sections, preterm births and the teen birth rate.
Much of the credit for the recent baby boomlet goes to improved economic health and increasingly stabler paychecks.
Population Reference Bureau senior demographer Carl Haub tells USA Today: “The recession is ending—we think it’s ending—for some people, so we might attribute a rise in the birth rate” to the economy.
Another potential contributing factor? More affordable health care.
“The unique historical event that could explain this jump is the enactment of the Affordable Care Act,” Dr. Avner Hershlag, chief of the Center for Human Reproduction at North Shore University Hospital, tells U.S. News. “For the first six months in 2014, over 10 million non-elderly adults who were previously uninsured bought health insurance,” he explains. “Care is now affordable to millions who, prior to the ACA, would have endured significant economic hardship having and raising children.”
It sounds like the current economy has some people sleeping like a baby—or having one.
If you’re ready to jump on the baby bandwagon, consult this checklist for financially preparing for your little bundle of joy.
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