Housing and Babies

Apparently McMansions can inspire more than just lust for a new home. Demographers are now speculating that the formerly gangbusters housing market was the cause of the baby boom of 2006, the first year in more than three decades that the United States birth rate reached population replacement levels.

The argument goes something like this: When housing is hard to get, we delay or don’t have children. When it’s relatively cheap to set up a domicile, we are fruitful and multiply. That’s why Europeans, despite all their wonderful maternal and family benefits, barely reproduce.

It sounds great, but there is only one problem. The birth rate for teenagers increased in 2006 too. Somehow, I don’t think that many 18 year olds are out buying homes. Even Countrywide didn’t get that creative when it came to handing out loans.

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