The number of births in South Dakota appears to be on the rebound. During the recession, fewer people were choosing to become parents. Now that trend seems to have turned around.
After being married for three years, James and Justine Frank are adding another member to their family. Baby Kynlee was born January 18.
"We never knew something so tiny could change our lives," Justine said.
The couple decided to wait to have children until now because James was deployed.
"We just wanted to build our relationship as a couple before we started adding to the family," Justine said.
The Franks are not alone in deciding to wait. After hitting a high in 2007, the number of births in South Dakota decreased and bottomed out in 2010. Sanford OB/GYN, Dr. Anthony Sierra says one reason behind the dip may be that more people are choosing to advance their careers and wait to have children.
"It used to be that women having children over the age of 40 was quite infrequent, but right now based on the most recent statistics, about three percent of all children born in the U.S. are to mothers over the age of 40," Sierra said.
Since 2010, more people, like the Franks, have been gradually choosing to become parents. The state is now nearly back to pre-recession levels.
"I believe that the improvement of the economy has made a lot of couples more comfortable with the decision to start a family," Sierra said.
Along with your financial status, Sierra says you should also look into the amount of time you have to spend with a child, so you can guide the baby through their first initial years.
While the Franks are still in their 20s, they say they're prepared to raise a child and are excited about the journey ahead.
"Just the different personality changes and watching her grown and watching us grow with her," Justine said.
Take a look at the chart below for exact number of births in the state over the last century: