The Great San Diego Vanishing Act

Births decline for the first time in 7 years

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    Some local couples have been thinking twice before deciding to add an extra member to their family.

    For the first time in seven years, the number of babies born in San Diego County has dropped. Experts said it is a sign of a down economy forcing couples to think more about the decision to have a child.

    "You generally see a decline in births in economic hard times," Ed Schafer, a senior demographer for the San Diego Association of Governments, the region's planning agency told the North County Times. "People are fairly rational about this; some people are. "There's people saying: 'Yeah, it's a stupid time to get pregnant.’”

    From July 2008 to July 2009, the county recorded 46,351 births. That's down from 47,205 births recorded in the same period a year earlier, according to a report on population from the state Department of Finance.

    Birth numbers are down significantly at Escondido's Palomar Medical Center and Oceanside's Tri-City Hospital, the North County Times reported. Palomar tallied 3,651 births as of Dec. 21. That was off by more than 650 from three years ago and 384 from last year, according to numbers provided to the paper by Andy Hoang, the hospital's spokesman. At Tri-City, 3,013 babies had been born as of Dec. 23. That's down 765 from the previous year.