You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Local birth rates mirror state and national trends

Economy, careers part of reasons Springfielders delay having children.

Birth rate patterns in Clark and Champaign counties closely mirror the state and national trend of a falling number of new babies each year.

Local health experts said a decrease in the counties’ population numbers and the economic recession are the two main factors why the birth rate has been declining.

Since 2007 when the birth rate per 1,000 population in Clark County was at 13.6, the number has slowly declined each year and dropped to 11.4 in 2012, according to data from the Ohio Department of Health.

In Champaign County, the birth rate was 13.4 in 2007, then plunged from 2008-10. It’s crept back up from 10.2 to 10.5 to 10.9 from 2010-12.

On average, it costs about $3,500 for a natural delivery and hospital stay, said Gabe Jones, an epidemiologist with the Clark County Combined Health District.

“People generally have births whenever they’re ready and whenever they’re able to,” Jones said. “In this current economic climate, it’s a lot harder, especially in Clark County where we have some areas that are poverty stricken. People don’t want births if they can’t afford it.”

The birth rate among all women in the United States began to decline in 2007, and hit its lowest ever recorded in 2011, according to the Pew Research Center. That rate remained mostly unchanged in 2012 with about 3.9 million births, according to preliminary data from the National Center for Health Statistics.

La Fleur Small, an associate professor of sociology and geriatrics at Wright State University, said the financial impact of having a baby is just one component of a declining overall birth rate.

Women are waiting until their mid-30s or later to start having children, giving them more time to advance their education or professional career and less time to have multiple children, Small said. Gender equity also has opened the door for parity in the workforce between men and women, she said.

Small believes birth rates will continue to decline, but life expectancy will increase because of improved healthcare and medical innovation.

“… There will be less children because of the affordability of it,” Small said. “But even though women are having less children, the population is doing really well because people who are born are not dying.”

Birth rates have remained steady at Springfield Regional Medical Center since 2008, when there were 1,282 births. The number increased to 1,468 in 2009, followed by 1,290 in 2010, 1,315 in 2011 and 1,294 last year.

Rose McKelvie, Springfield Regional’s service line director for women and children’s services, said the hospital’s large birthing suites/postpartum rooms in the facility’s new birthing center make an attractive feature.

Additionally, women generally deliver at the hospital where their doctor goes, McKelvie said.

“They will go where that physician recommends,” McKelvie said. “Typically, women choose their doctor, not their hospital. They trust them, therefore they trust us. We’ve got good doctors and good service. Women are staying loyal to us.”

Jessica Carmin of Springfield gave birth to her and her husband’s first child, Colby, on Tuesday at Springfield Regional. Jessica and Caleb — both 28 years old — have been married for five years, and they said the time was right to have a baby.

“We’ve been together for quite a while, we both are well into our professions, and we’ve always wanted kids,” Caleb said. “We were finally ready.”

Caleb is a nurse at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, while Jessica is a reading intervention tutor at Possum Elementary in the Clark-Shawnee school district. They said their career aspirations are still on track, and childcare for Colby will be taken care of by family members who live nearby.

“That’s part of the reason why we waited until now to start a family,” Jessica said. “We wanted to make sure we were prepared.”

Jones said he’s not concerned about the birth rate decline because it’s been a steady drop that has followed closely with state and national trends. If the birth rate was increasing or decreasing at a higher rate, the health organization would dig deeper into the numbers, he said.

He expects the birth rate to eventually level off, citing an economic turnaround that will influence more people to have children, in addition to improvements in health risks associated with giving birth.

“Whenever we do comparisons, we try to see where we are in comparison to similar counties, the state and nationally,” Jones said. “Because we’re following the same trend, it’s not necessarily something we believe will negatively impact the community.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Community News

Bill Cosby’s rep now says town halls won’t be about sexual assault
Bill Cosby’s rep now says town halls won’t be about sexual assault

Days after Bill Cosby’s representatives said he was planning on touring the country and appearing at town halls to speak with young people about sexual assault, one of those same representatives says that is not the case. The Huffington Post reported that on Sunday, Cosby’s representative Ebonee Benson told CNN that the town hall meetings...
Husted says he offers new vision for Ohio
Husted says he offers new vision for Ohio

The youngest contender in the Republican race for Ohio governor went straight to the age issue on Monday when asked about 70-year-old Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s decision to run in 2018. When asked about the newest addition to the race, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said, “‘New’ would not be the way to describe...
Searchers at Glen Helen Nature Preserve find lost/missing person
Searchers at Glen Helen Nature Preserve find lost/missing person

UPDATE @ 7:26 p.m.:  The missing person has been located and reportedly is in the lobby of the Yellow Springs Police Department, according to Greene County Sheriff's Dispatch. A search crew is heading into the Glen Helen Nature Preserve in Greene County to look for a person reported lost or missing.  Yellow Springs police officers have joined...
Women searched at airport after feminine hygiene product alerts scanner
Women searched at airport after feminine hygiene product alerts scanner

A Charlotte woman said she was headed home from a work conference in Tampa Bay, Florida, but was stopped after going through a Transportation Safety Administration body scanner, according to WSOC-TV. She said she was told by TSA agents at the airport in Tampa Bay that she needed to be searched again after part of her body lit up on the scanner's screen...
6 endangered right whales turn up dead in massive loss to population
6 endangered right whales turn up dead in massive loss to population

The Canadian government and marine experts are investigating the deaths of six endangered North American right whales over a period of several weeks in the Gulf of St. Lawrence off Canada’s southeastern coast. The dead whales were discovered between June 7 and June 23 in an area bordered by New Brunswick, Quebec and northern Prince Edward...
More Stories