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Births to Boost Furniture

Youth and infant furniture makers and retailers have reason to rejoice. A slow-and-steady resurgence in U.S. births hold promise to benefit the category.

Over the next five to 10 years, children of Baby Boomers will be moving into prime childbearing age. The recession slowed birth rates, but those sluggish rates have bounced back somewhat. Projections now call for a 3.2 percent increase over the next five years and a continuing ascent over the upcoming 30 years.

While the under 5 age group continues to catch up, the 5-to-9-year-old segment will experience shrinking numbers through 2020, and the 10-and-over group will remain stagnant.

Birth Projections

Births peaked in the United States in 1957 with the birth of 4.3 million babies. The number of births in the United States did not reach that level again until 50 years later in 2007 when 4.32 million babies were born.

After that, the recession hit, and the number of births started its descent.

While birth rates are now on a slow increase, it will be another 30 years before births in the United States exceed the annual 4.3 million level.

Table A showcases the up-and-down progression of births from 1950 and the projections into 2045. The statistics and the projections are derived from the United States’ Vital Statistics System from the Centers for Disease Control.

After the 8.6 percent downward spiral in the three-year period from 2007 to 2010—the recession—births are projected to grow an average of 1.4 percent every five years until reaching a total of 4.34 million in 2045.

10-Year Outlook

The under-5 age group is expected to have the highest population gains by 2025 with an increase of 5.2 percent. That forecasted growth rate will leave the three older youth age segments behind as each of them are projected to experience multiple dips and minimal growth when compared to the under-5 set.

Shown in Table B as the blue line on its upward trajectory, the under-5 group will be soaring for the next 10 years.

The group encompassing ages 5 to 9 are reeling from the lower birth rates during the Great Recession, and the group is expected to decrease 1.4 percent in the next three years from 2015 to 2018. Children under 5 will continue to age into this group creating an estimated 4 percent increase from 2018 until 2025.

In the next 10 years, the tween and teenage groups are projected to diminish or remain flat. Neither group will gain steam again until more than 10 years out when grandchildren of the Baby Boomers migrate into these segments.

Under 5 Set

Now that the recession has ended, the birth rate in the United States has picked back up giving the new players—those under 5—the power to boost the growing youth population.

As shown in Table C, the under-5 age segment has the highest population bump in the forecast. By 2020, youth under 5 will grow by 3 percent from 2015 and 5.2 percent by 2025 over the 10-year span–increasing from about 20.6 million to 21 million.

Ages 5 to 9

Children between the ages of 5 and 9, as shown in Table D, are expected increase in number by 2.1 percent in the 10-year span from 2015 to 2025. After a projected drop of 0.9 percent in five years, the under 5 set will provide this group a 3 percent boost, resulting in an estimated population of 20.9 million in 2025.

Ages 10 to 13

Table F illustrates that with an overall flat growth of 0.1 percent from 2015 to 2025, age group 10 to 13 shows signs of an initial slight increase of 0.8 percent by 2020. However, this segment is expected to fall 0.7 percent in the five-year span between 2020 and 2025.


Ages 14 to 17

The oldest age group in our youth report, ages 14 to 17, continues to decline and is projected to decrease 0.4 percent in 2020 and post another dip of 0.3 percent in 2025.

This dwindling population outlook for the two older youth segments can be attributed to a combined slowing of birth rates over the last five years trough the recession and the glut of the Baby Boomers’ grandchildren who have not yet reached their teenage years.

Forecasting beyond the next 10 years into the next decade—2025 to 2035—ages 10 to 13 and the age group of 14 to 17 are each expected to grow more than 4 percent.

Women of Childbearing Age

A key factor in determining the future of the youth furniture category is the projected population of women of childbearing age.

Key considerations are whether they are increasing in numbers whether they are having enough children to support healthy youth furniture sales.

Table H shows the projected population of women of childbearing age through the next 10 years in five-year increments. While the crude birth rate—number of births per 1,000 women—continues to decline and is expected to drop 3.2 percent from 2015 to 2025, the population of women of childbearing age—18 to 44—is expected to increase 6.5 percent during the next decade. That would account for an increase in projected births. 


The number of women ages 18 to 24 will show no growth over the next 10 years, dropping 1.2 percent, as the children of Baby Boomers begin to leave that age group. 

Meanwhile, women ages 25 to 34 in their prime childbearing years, are expected to increase in population with 7 percent growth over the next 10 years.

The highest growth will be women ages 35 to 44. This group is expected to increase by 12 percent in the next 10 years as the children of the Baby Boomers filter through their prime furniture purchasing years.

According to the National Center of Health Statistics, the number of first births to women 35 and over is nine times higher than in 1970.  These women are delaying childbirth or having additional births well into their mid- and late-30s.

While adult children of Baby Boomers are jump starting the increase in births, they are still projected to have fewer children on average than their parents. In the short term these births will fuel the demand for furniture targeted toward infants and children under 5. However, it will be more than five years before there is an increase in the number of 5-to-9 year olds, and 10 years before we see growth in the 10-to-13 year old segment.


Editor’s Note: For additional in-depth information on the topic contact Lexi Benson at or via phone at (404) 390-1525. Statistically Speaking is proprietary information from Impact Consulting/FurnitureCore research and any reuse is by permission only.


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