The maternity business has experienced a recession, too, it appears. Births fell 4% from 2007 to 2009, the biggest drop for any two-year period since the mid-1970s, according to federal government data released Thursday.
The rate, 66.7 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44, isn't the lowest in recent memory. The 1997 rate was an all-time low of 63.6. But the authors of the report say preliminary data show the birth rate continued falling through the first half of 2010.