- U.S. births apparently have declined for a third year in a row, probably because of the weak economy. Births had been on the rise for years, and the number hit an all-time high of more than 4.3 million in 2007. But the count has been dropping since then.
- Last year, it fell 3 percent to slightly more than 4 million births, according to preliminary figures released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Experts believe the downward trend is tied to the economy, which officially was in a recession from December 2007 until June 2009 and is still flagging. The theory is that women who are unemployed or have other money problems feel they can't afford to start a family or add to it.
- In 2008 and 2009, the only increase in births was in women older than 40 -- considered more sensitive to the ticking of their biological clocks.