From the NYT:
Millennials are taking their time procreating. According to C.D.C. data, preliminary 2013 birthrates show that the birth rates for teenagers declined 10 percent in 2013, to a historic low of 26.6 births per 1,000 women. The birth rate also declined for women in their 20s to a record low, while births to women in their 30s and 40s rose. This is not because millennials are stuck in a state of perpetual adolescence and unwilling to make the sacrifice that children entail. On the contrary: putting off children is one of the most financially responsible decisions that a young person can make.
Raising children has never been cheap. But one cost that has skyrocketed over the past couple decades is child care. After adjusting for inflation, the Census Bureau found that families spent $84 per week on child care in 1985, compared with $143 per week in 2011. The cost of child care, like most other costs, is harder to manage for the poor. Families below the poverty level spent about 30 percent of their income on child care, compared with about 8 percent for families above the poverty level. Unsurprisingly, families with young children spent a higher proportion of their income on child care — about 11 percent.
More than 20 percent of millennials with only a high school education are living in poverty, and research has shown that persistent poverty has an impact on young children’s cognitive development. College-educated millennials are swimming in loan debt — two-thirds of them have debt, and the average debt is $27,000 (up from a $15,000 average debt 20 years ago). Millennials, like most groups of millions of people, are rational actors. They just don’t want to have kids they can’t afford.