A new report from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) shows that US birth rates continue to plunge, hitting a three-decade low in 2018, as millennials delay marriage and children due to economic uncertainty.

In 2018, women ages 15 to 44 had a birth rate of 59 births per 1,000, which is 2% lower than in 2017, and the lowest on record since 1909, according to the report.

About 3.8 million babies were born in 2018, which is a 2% decline in the total number born in 2017, the lowest number of births in 32-years.

All birth rates for women under 35 fell. Women in their early 20s saw a 4% drop in birth rates from 2017 to 2018. However, birth rates increased for women ages 35 to 39 and 40 to 44.

The birth rate among teens ages 15 to 19 also fell 7% from 2017 to 2018, to a rate of about 17 births per 1,000 teens.

Dr. Jeff Chapa with the Cleveland Clinic said: “I think what we’re seeing is that there is a trend towards delayed childbearing.”

NCHS didn’t specify the reason for the overall deterioration in millennial births but indicates young adults have fewer children.

The amount of Americans over 25 who have never married has doubled since 1960. Those who do tie the knot are having fewer kids. One explanation behind this troubling trend is economic uncertainty: millennials are deeper in debt than any other generation that has come before them.

With mortgage and credit card debt levels aren’t as high for millennials, their level of student loan debt is off the chart.

While the debt levels accumulated by millennials eclipse those of the previous generation, Generation X, at a similar point in time, the complexion of the debt is very different.

According to a 2018 report from the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, mortgage debt is about 15% lower for millennials and credit card debt among millennials was about two-thirds that of Gen X.

However, student loan debt was over 300% greater, said Michael Snyder from The Economic Collapse blog.

Financial burdens are shaping young adults into the lost generation. Besides delaying marriage and children, millennials are also putting off the American dream of homeownership. The baby bust is another sign that America is in decline.

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