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Baby Bust Continued into 2012

In my April 17th blog post, I reported about the baby bust based on the 2011 data, the most recent that was then available from the National Center for Health Statistics. An alternate source of birth data comes from the IRS.

The IRS now requires parents to provide Social Security numbers for all their dependent children on their tax returns. So for the last several decades, all newborns in the United States have received Social Security numbers. The applications closely track actual births based on their counts by year of birth. Although the Social Security Administration’s numbers are not identical to the complete count of births provided by the National Center for Health Statistics, they are available sooner and are an excellent indicator of birth trends.

The latest statistics just released by the IRS show that the baby bust has continued into 2012. The Social Security Administration provided 3,931,200 Social Security numbers for newborns in 2012. This was 19,502 fewer than in 2011 and 393,000 below the peak year of 2007. The baby bust is ongoing but the rate of the decline is gradually slowing.

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Click to enlarge

When we examine the percentage rate change in births, it is interesting that the rate actually started declining in 2007 before the Great Recession could have had any real impact.

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Click to enlarge

The question then becomes are we seeing the beginning of a long term trend where the birth rate will continue to decline slightly or basically remain flat versus the increases that we experienced over the decade between 1998 and 2007 (excluding 2001 and 2002)? Of course it could be argued that the declines in 2001 and 2002 were the result of the 2001 recession, so the declines we are currently seeing are all resulting from the Great Recession and its hangover period. Only time will tell.

About Randy White

Randy White is CEO and co-founder of the White Hutchinson Leisure & Learning Group. The 31-year-old company, with offices in Kansas City, Missouri, has worked for over 600 clients in 37 countries throughout the world. Projects the company has designed and produced have won seventeen 1st place awards. Randy is considered to be one of the world's foremost authorities on feasibility, brand development, design and production of leisure experience destinations including entertainment, eatertainment, edutainment, agritainment/agritourism, play and leisure facilities.

Randy was featured on the Food Network's Unwrapped television show as an eatertainment expert, quoted as an entertainment/edutainment center expert in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Times and Time magazine and received recognition for family-friendly designs by Pizza Today magazine. One of the company's projects was featured as an example of an edutainment project in the book The Experience Economy. Numerous national newspapers have interviewed him as an expert on shopping center and mall entertainment and retail-tainment.

Randy is a graduate of New York University. Prior to repositioning the company in 1989 to work exclusively in the leisure and learning industry, White Hutchinson was active in the retail/commercial real estate industry as a real estate consultancy specializing in workouts/turnarounds of commercial projects. In the late 1960s to early 1980s, Randy managed a diversified real estate development company that developed, owned and managed over 2.0 million square feet of shopping centers and mixed-use projects and 2,000 acres of residential subdivisions. Randy has held the designations of CSM (Certified Shopping Center Manager) and Certified Retail Property Executive (CRX) from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).

He has authored over 150 articles that have been published in over 40 leading entertainment/leisure and early childhood education industry magazines and journals and has been a featured speaker and keynoter at over 40 different conventions and trade groups.

Randy is the editor of his company's Leisure eNewsletter, has a blog and posts on Twitter and Linkedin.

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