The federal government`s National Vital Statistics Report on Births: Preliminary Data for 2010 shows the first decline in the percentage of children born illegitimately in many years. In 2010, 40.8 % of all births in America were to unmarried mothers, down marginally from 41.0% in 2009.
This is in part due to the sharp fall in total births to Hispanics. The Latino illegitimacy rate still grew from 53.2% to 53.3%, but the Hispanic share of total births declined from 24.2% to 23.6%. The non-Hispanic white illegitimacy rate was stable at 29.0%, while the black rate fell from 72.8% to 72.5% and the Asian rate from 17.2% to 17.0%.
The most penetrating insight into how different classes responded to the impact of the Housing Bubble comes from the opening scene of 2006`s Idiocracy, where the married yuppie couple with 138 and 141 IQs explain that they couldn`t have a child now, "not with the market the way it is." In contrast, Keynes`s animal spirits are running strong in Clevon`s trailer park.
High home prices tended to discourage the prudent from marrying and reproducing, while the the availability of subprime mortgages with short term teaser monthly payments, and the accompany construction boom, encouraged the imprudent to reproduce (if not marry). Further, Bush`s artificial boom sucked in large numbers of fertility-minded but not marriage-minded people from south of the border. And as recent research shows, nobody has children faster than newly arrived illegal immigrants.
The economic downturn has discouraged fertility in general, but most severely among the imprudent.