Teenage Births Lowest in 66 Years; What it Can Mean for the Toy Industry

Richardglobalheader (4)

The world does continue to amaze.  Births to teen moms are at their lowest point since 1946.  According to a New York Times article, “Teenage Birth Rate Is Lowest Since 1946,” the reason seems to be that today's teens are using birth control and putting off having sex. 

According to a report from the National Center for Health Statistics, birth rates among young women ages 15 to 19 fell in all but three states and in all racial, ethnic and age groups. From 2009 to 2010, the rate of teenage births fell by 9 percent, to 34.9 per thousand, the lowest rate ever reported in the 65 years for which data is available.

It is interesting to reflect on what this may mean for the toy industry in a couple of years when the babies (or lack thereof) begin to show up as toy consuming children.  Here is my prediction for the toy industry; a short term loss and a long term gain. 

Here is why:  Teenage moms tend to be single and financially struggling.   Accordingly, I would anticipate that those retailers who cater towards this demographic (Family Dollar, Dollar General, Fred’s, etc.) will feel the drop in births more than a Target or a Toys R Us. 

On the other hand, those teens that did not have babies will have the opportunity grow up to be

young adults who go to college, make a decent living and as a result have more disposable income.  And when they do have children, we will see that show up in the purchase of higher priced toys

That’s good for society and that’s good for business; a win-win for everyone.

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One thought

  1. Very interesting and encouraging and it could have a profound impact on the economy with less welfare recipients. I wonder if any of it could be attributed to poor economic times? Kids might have less disposable income from jobs and family so spend more time at home playing video games. Even the price of gas means less joy riding. They certainly communicate more via cell phones so maybe have less face time. It sure raisers some interesting questions as to cause and effect.

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