The second coming of the baby boom is (almost) here.
By Rieva Lesonsky
There’s been a lot of handwringing lately after the “plunging” birthrate in the U.S. Some media outlets said we were in a “baby recession.” Not so much.
While the birthrate was indeed down for the past several years, a whole lot of babies were still being born. You can chalk those years up to a combination of recession and demographics.
The good news is that according to preliminary data from the CDC’s (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) National Center for Health Statistics, the birth rate rose last year to 3,985,824. That’s the first increase in seven years, and 53,000 more babies than were born in 2013. I purposely didn’t round off that number so you can see it’s a tick under 4 million—the official number for a baby boom year.
This is important to entrepreneurs in the baby business (retail and services). Not only are we nearing that “magical” 4 million mark, but the demographics of those giving birth is good news for small businesses.
One reason for the decrease in the birthrate is the increasing decline in the number of teen births, which has been headed downward since 1991, and was down 9 percent from 2013 to 2014.
Conversely, there’s been a rise in the number of women in their 30s and 40s having babies. This marks, I believe, the start of a soon-to-come Millennial-led baby boom. We already know Gen Y is the biggest generation in American history. The youngest Millennials were born in 1982, which means they’re turning 33 this year—so you can expect to see that birth rate continue to rise for at least the next two decades. (The Census Bureau dates the end of Gen Y at those born in 2000.)
Parents in their 30s and 40s have more money to spend on their babies, and are apt to be out buying furniture, clothing, food, décor and more.
Baby booms = business booms, so get ready.