Economy, immigration among factors of Arizona’s declining birth rate

Jul 20, 2018, 4:33 PM
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)...
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

PHOENIX — The declining fertility rate in Arizona has stunned health experts across the country, as the state experienced a 20 percent drop in the number of births between 2007 and 2017.

According to CNN, Arizona went from 103,000 births in 2007 to near 81,000 in 2017 — the largest decline in a 10-year period in the country. Overall, the number of kids an average woman in the United States will have in her lifetime has also declined from 2.12 to 1.76.

Dr. Michael Foley, the chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of Arizona’s College of Medicine in Phoenix, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday that a number of factors have contributed to the declining fertility rate in the state.

“One of them, I think, is the recession that we experienced. It created a certain amount of economic insecurity,” Foley said. “I think people and families perceived that the resources needed to support having children and families was a little less secure.

“I also think over the last decade there has been improved sex education, the availability of birth control — it’s all led to a decrease in teen pregnancy substantially.”

The Affordable Care Act in 2010 — also referred to as Obamacare — forced insurance companies to cover birth control, while grants were provided to states for teen pregnancy education courses.

But Foley said one other factor related directly to Arizona played a major role in the declining birth rate.

“I think there is more of an immigration enforcement in Arizona that has delayed women of child-bearing age from crossing over from Mexico to Arizona and from having more and more children,” Foley said.

“At the time we had one of the highest birth rates in the country, we had a high population of immigrants.”

The birth rate for Hispanic woman in 2006 was 3 children per woman, according to CNN. That’s much higher than the 2.1 average across the country that same year.

“I think the big swing is related to both the economic changes that happened over that same decade and the increasing scrutiny over immigration and verifying immigration status once they were here,” Foley said.

With the declining population comes speculation of the type of impact it could have on the future.

Especially when taking into consideration the aging Baby Boomer population.

“If we have less children we are going to have less people to support the social security system to help support our Baby Boomer population,” Foley said.

“We are going to have less people contributing to it because of the population falling.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mark Carlson contributed to this report.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Gateway Grand Rendering)...
Danny Shapiro

Ground broken on 2 million-square-foot Gateway Grand industrial park in Mesa

Ground was broken Tuesday on the 2 million-square-foot Gateway Grand industrial park in Mesa, which is expected to be completed in 2023.
21 hours ago
(File Facebook Photo/Yavapai County Sheriff's Office)...

Yavapai County Sheriff’s deputy killed in shooting with suspect

A Yavapai County Sheriff’s deputy was killed Tuesday in a shooting with a suspect in Cordes Lakes, authorities said. 
21 hours ago
Rachel Mitchell ( Photo)...
Torrence Dunham

Here’s Interim Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell’s stance on Arizona’s abortion law

Interim Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell in a press conference on Tuesday gave her stance on a law in Arizona that bans abortions, which took effect after the Supreme Court last week reversed Roe v. Wade.
21 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/U.S. Forest Service - Coconino National Forest)...

Coconino and Kaibab forests in northern Arizona lift fire restrictions

Having received significant precipitation from recent storms, the Coconino and Kaibab forests in northern Arizona announced Tuesday that fire restrictions have been lifted.
21 hours ago
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)...

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signs $18 billion budget for 2023 fiscal year

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Tuesday signed the $18 billion budget into law that makes hefty investments in education, border security and infrastructure.
21 hours ago
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
Danny Shapiro

Former GOP congressman Matt Salmon drops out of race for Arizona governor

With about a week until early voting for Arizona's primary election, Matt Salmon pulled out of Republican race for governor on Tuesday.
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
Economy, immigration among factors of Arizona’s declining birth rate