The Checkup: U.S. Birth Rate Dips, Historic Low Among Young Women

Teens and twentysomethings are having fewer babies, while older 40-year-olds are having more.

• Although my Facebook feed of late might suggest otherwise, a federal report released yesterday says the U.S. birth rate has dropped for the third year in a row, and birth rates among teens (ages 15 to 19) and young women (20 to 24) are at the lowest ever. And get this: From 2009 to 2010, the rate of births among women ages 40 to 44 actually rose two percent, reaching levels we haven’t seen since 1967. So while this is good news for teenagers, what the heck’s going on with everybody else? Some experts are blaming the economy. You agree? (You can read the report for yourself over here.)

• Speaking of federal reports, another one says more Americans are living longer, some well into their 90s. So that puts us at fewer babies and more elderly people. Just keeping score here …

• Yesterday was the Great American Smokeout—did you quit? A new study says that some smokers who’ve tried to quit and fail probably have a smoking gene that makes it extra difficult. Not that you shouldn’t try, of course.