Birth Rates Falling More

A sign of the recession's toll: Births fall in Illinois
Economically stressed families put off having kids

By Judith Graham and Tara Malone, Chicago Tribune reporters
August 25, 2010

After the tumult of losing a job, searching for new employment and relocating to the Chicago area, the Hurleys of Naperville decided not to have any more children.

"We're done," said Tracy Hurley, a stay-at-home mom with a 3-year-old and a 1 1/2-year-old.

Their decision is apparently becoming more common. The birth rate in Illinois has dropped to its lowest level since 1933, the height of the Great Depression, in part because financially stressed couples are putting off or deciding against expanding their families.

"Many couples are strained and don't want to take on additional responsibilities," said Dr. Kishore Lakhani, an obstetrics and gynecology specialist who practices in Hoffman Estates.

"Especially people who are working, if they already have a child, they are deciding to continue taking birth control," said Dr. Vijay Arekapudi, chairwoman of the OB/GYN department at the Division Street campus of Sts. Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center.

Illinois' birth rate stands at about 13.3 for every 1,000 people in the state, down from a recent high of 17.1 per 1,000 residents in 1990, according to a Tribune analysis of Census Bureau population figures and local birth data. In 1933, the rate was 13.9. Read More

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