COVID baby boom? More like COVID baby bust — and more trouble for the economy

We’ve seen the damage before.


June 18, 2020

Did quarantine put a damper on your love life? Chill, babe. Turns out there’s been more bread baking than babymaking.

A new report from researchers at the Brookings Institution predicts a declining birthrate, which could yield significant economic losses.

It’s all just a little bit of history repeating

When times are tough, people tend to put, um… a lid on it. With the average annual cost of infant child care surpassing in-state tuition at many 4-year public universities, bringing a child into the world is a very calculated risk.

During the 1918 flu pandemic, American women didn’t put off having babies… they just had fewer of them.

And during the Great Recession, which lasted roughly 2007 to 2009, states that showed the steepest job losses also showed the greatest reduction in birth rates between 2008 and 2011. The US as a whole saw a 9% dip in births — that’s 400k — between 2007 and 2012.

Thanks to the coronavirus crisis that tanked the national economy, Brookings estimates a 300k – 500k dip in American births. And by one estimate, 40%+ of jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic may be gone for good.

Even if you hate kids (you monster), the numbers don’t lie

The loss of 500k births could amount to economic losses of $5T within the next few decades.

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