Sterilization and Long-Acting Reversible Contraception Use During the Great Recession: Variation by Economic Conditions

Mieke Eeckhaut , University of Delaware
Christine Percheski, Northwestern University

Birth rates in the United States declined during the Great Recession with a greater decrease in areas with the highest unemployment rates. Previous research has not identified the role of changes in contraceptive use or contraceptive method type in these declines. We use data from female respondents to the National Survey of Family Growth (ages 15-44) for the period of 2006-15 merged with data on unemployment rates at the state and county-level to investigate whether higher unemployment is associated with increased reliance on female sterilization, male sterilization (of women’s partners), or long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), including intrauterine devices (IUDs), and implants. Additionally, we examine whether these associations vary by race/ethnicity and by educational attainment. Our research fills an important gap in the scholarly literature on the impacts of recessions on fertility and contributes to a richer understanding of racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in women’s sexual and reproductive health.

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 Presented in Session 149. Contraceptive Behavior in Developed Countries