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Why are birth rates declining? A Seattle fertility expert weighs in

New numbers show women in Oregon are having fewer babies - and it's just one example of a larger trend nation-wide.

PORTLAND, Ore. — New numbers show women in Oregon are having fewer babies.

According to the Oregon Health Authority, the birth rate there last year was the lowest it's been in 25 years. 

This comes as total fertility rates are down nation-wide. 

Why is this happening? We asked Dr. Julie Lamb, a reproductive endocrinologist at Pacific Northwest Fertility in Seattle, to weigh in.

In the year 2000, most new moms in Oregon were 20 to 24 years old.

In 2017? They were 30 to 34 years old.

The reasons for the delay vary - one of the biggest seems to be financial insecurity. People are waiting until their careers are established, and they can better afford the rising costs of raising a child. Others say they didn't meet their partners until later in life; and still others say they feel less of a societal pressure to have kids at a young age, making them more confident about choosing to live child-free, or wait to have kids.

Experts say fertility rates eventually impact the community as a whole- lowering population numbers mean fewer kids in schools, fewer people in the labor force, fewer people paying taxes.

Read more here.