Good news: America's birthrate is rising again

2012's baby boomlet -- the first increase since 2007 -- has wide-ranging ramifications for future economic growth.

By Jonathan Berr Jun 7, 2013 9:29AM
Baby (© Nicole Hill/Rubberball Productions/Jupiterimages)Nothing sparks the desire to procreate quite like an economic rebound.

Data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show the country had 3.96 million births in 2012, an increase of less than 1% from the prior year, according to Bloomberg News. Still, that's the first growth since the depths of the recession in December 2007. 

Economists have known for decades that people bring fewer children into the world when they're concerned about their economic future. Of course, the opposite is true, and plenty of evidence makes the case that times are getting better.

Friday's jobs report showed May unemployment is now 7.6%, up a tick from April's 7.5%, as more people are encouraged to seek work. The June 2012 rate was 8.2%.

Consumer confidence is also rising, reaching a six-year high in May. Auto sales are rising robustly, and both the residential and commercial real estate markets are booming. Home prices have surged in the 12 months through March by the most in seven years, according to Bloomberg News.

The ramifications of a rising birth rate may be felt for years in corporate America. Parents are going to need to clothe these children of the mini-boom, which is potentially good news for apparel companies and retailers such as Gap (GPS). Some may want to feed them organic food made by producers such as Hain Celestial (HAIN). They may want to entertain them with Apple (AAPL) iPads filled with content from Walt Disney (DIS) and other media companies.

New life is good news.

Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.

More on moneyNOW

124Comments
Jun 7, 2013 12:46PM
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This is good news?  Are these babies going to be supported by their parents or the tax payers?
Jun 7, 2013 10:51AM
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Human overpopulation is choking this planet. More people, but dwindling resources to feed, house and clothe them. The land mass remains constant, but world population is doubling every 60 years. One does not have to be a "liberal" to recognize this can't go on forever.
Jun 7, 2013 9:50AM
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WE don't need more babies, plenty of them out there as it is. However, there aren't plenty of Jobs and Resources to deal with a growing Global Population. Birth rates rising is a BAD Sign, too many folks at home with no job and too much time on their hands. The result, more babies.
Jun 7, 2013 2:21PM
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cut off welfare and I bet the birth rate would drop.
Jun 7, 2013 12:04PM
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In actuality, zero population growth is quite a conservative approach. An ever increasing population causes more problems for a country than it fixes; it promotes an increase in high cost infrastructure and services - social services. High-growth countries like the USA are struggling to pay for more schools, programs for the poor, etc., and if population rises, so does the need for a bigger more socialistic government. The USA is trending towards a poorer and poorer population, which proportionately increases the ratio of children being born into less affluent (tax paying) families. 
Jun 7, 2013 1:31PM
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That is anything but good news!!!!! Are you serious? Who came up with this ignorant nonsense!??? Everywhere I turn babies are being born or seen, and rarely can anyone afford to truly take care of them. No, more babies means MORE population, means MORE mouths to feed and LESS GOOD jobs available! Our country is OVER-populated per capita, which is why we are having the issues we have! Wow, everywhere I turn idiots invade these internet blogs! Seriously? I cannot believe I just read that headline. I thought wow, how much more dumbed down can people get?!!
Jun 7, 2013 12:38PM
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This is not good news. We need declining birth rates over multiple generations if we are to avoid ecological catastrophe. Rather than economic growth, we need to move to a lower baseline of economic size and than keep it there, not increase it. 
Jun 7, 2013 2:22PM
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why is this considered GOOD news.  We can't take care of the ones we have now.  Well, at least many can't take care of them, and the rest of us are getting tired of doing it for them
Jun 7, 2013 2:27PM
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It's nice to see people with brains posting to the comments forum.  I am 28, married, educated, employed and never having children.  I'm always being told "you will change your mind" my response, "my mind will change if the world population drops below 5 billion".  Having babies is not a good thing, it's a drag on our poor suffering planet.  

This article is just more nonsense propaganda about our "recovering" economy.  I don't see a recovery i see desperate times barely covered with lies and charades.  
Jun 7, 2013 12:22PM
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When the primary basis for ALL of the world's problems is an out-of-control population explosion, why would MSN allow or encourage an article on the "good" of adding to that crisis???

I am sure all those uncaring and selfish procreators will love it, but thinking people do not!  So, think and care about your thoughtful readers for once, and not always for the money you get from advertisers. Silly me, what was i thinking?

Jun 7, 2013 2:28PM
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No wonder. In my agriculture based area mexicans are having 3-5 babies at taxpayer expense. Even when offered a medical @ $50.00 per month they still go to emergency. This is the reality of illegal immigration.
Jun 7, 2013 2:12PM
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And with 11 million illegals about to become legal, thanks to obuma, you can expect an even higher increase in births.  They breed like rabbits.
Jun 7, 2013 2:13PM
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How is this good news, unless you are a part of government applauding that we have more future taxpayers!!!
Jun 7, 2013 2:24PM
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The Duggars need to knock that s**t off....LOL
Jun 7, 2013 2:36PM
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If the count includes all the illegals giving birth to automatic American citizens then yes the birth rate is going up along with the welfare and Medicaid rates.

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I half to agree with everybody!!  What we don't need is more welfare babies!  If you can't feed them and insure them don't BREED THEM!!  What we do need is a lot of thinning of the herd! We are over populated by billions!  Stop the WELFARE!  Start some steralization programs for the welfare with TOO MANY kids!
Jun 7, 2013 2:31PM
Jun 7, 2013 2:45PM
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Correction people, the world's birth rate is on the rise. Yes, there are too many people on this planet as in overpopulation. More people than there are jobs. More people push wildlife to the brink of extinction. More people contributes to crowded cities, pollution, crime, you name it. Yes, it's time for sensible family planning. Please consider adoption versus having multiple children of your own. Yes, a newborn child is wonderful, however, too many are being brought into dysfunctional and/or poverish environments. Please give some thought first, before you consider starting a family.
Jun 7, 2013 1:39PM
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The headline is akin to a celebration that "Yaaaay! We're once again taking a dump out behind the teepee!"
Jun 7, 2013 5:47PM
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Promote contraception for those too poor to support themselves, so they stop breeding poverty.  No child should have to grow up in poverty.
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