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Making Babies No Longer a Priority in America

A new government study finds that Americans aren’t making babies as rapidly as past generations.

And while researches didn’t offer any one reason as to the decline, the startling facts are that if this trend continues, we’ll actually have fewer babies to replace ourselves.

Researchers for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that in order for the population to reproduce itself at the current rate, the “total fertility rate” needs to be 2,100 births per 1,000 women of child-bearing age per year.

However, the latest numbers indicate a worrisome trend of just 1,765.5 per 1,000 women — roughly 16% below the current levels needed for our population to remain stable — without depending on immigration to fill the void.

The decline in making babies isn’t new the fertility rate has been steadily dropping for the past 7-years. However, what is alarming is the recent historic drop in 2017.

For example, the fertility rate in 2016 was 1,820.5 per 1,000 women — a decline of 23 in one year. In 2014, the was 1862.5, for a total reduction of 42 births within the last 3 years.

Perhaps even more troubling is the lack of information by the CDC to explain why the rate is dropping so precipitously.

Thus far researches are split as to the actual cause of the decline, with some suggesting there isn’t a single reason, more likely a combination of factors within a modern, mobile society, including a mixture of changing attitudes and social mores, encompassing economics, woman perusing carriers and education delaying the traditional role as mothers, and perhaps the most significant greater availability of contraception, and a decline in teen pregnancies.

This trend, however, isn’t confined to only America, in fact, Dr. John Rowe, a professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, acknowledges that other studies show much of the same data within industrially developed nations, including Western Europe.

Dr. Rowe believes that what’s driving the fertility rates down within those developed nations is the changing roles of women in society.

“In general women are getting married later in life,” he explained. “They are leaving home and launching their families later.”

Dr. Helen Kim, an associate professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, also weighed in on the issue saying, “I think as women delay child-bearing they may not realize that fertility declines with age and that there are limits to what fertility treatments can do for them.”

Kim, appearing Wednesday on NBC News, emphasized that although science has made great strides in fertility rates among older woman within recent decades, “that may not be enough to make up for the decline” in births among younger women.

Moreover, Kim explained that the concept of the ideal family size may be changing. “There are shifts where having smaller families is a trend,” she added. “I can’t speak on this as a sociologist, but this is what I’ve seen among my peers and colleagues.”

Perhaps rather than relying on speculation by experts, the more practical solution is to go directly to the source. A recent poll conducted by Morning Consult for The New York Times details why young adults have fewer children.

Some of the reasons given are predictable, for example; “more leisure time and personal freedom.” While others were perhaps more personal for example; “not having a partner yet; not being able to afford child-care costs.”

Here are the top 5-reasons why young adults are delaying having babies:

Child care is too expensive-64%

Want more time for the children I have-54%

Worried about the economy-49%

Can’t afford more children-44%

Waited because of financial instability-43%

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About Bob A.

I began my career as a New York graphic designer, years later as an Art Director working with some of the leading advertising agencies and studios of the day, transitioned into owning my own graphic design service, providing a host of creative services, most recently as a working cartoonist for a verity of clients, my most recent illustrative assignment was a 33-page children’s book titled “Nicholas’s Amazing Journey.” I’m a published author, with my first novel titled “Journey” published in 2003, and my second a short story titled “Mr. Tidbit’s Dilemma”, published in 2014, by American Star Books, and I’m currently working on my third novel, a murder-mystery titled “Possession,” which hopefully should be completed early next year. I’m also an unabashed conservative and political junkie writing well over 4,000 published articles and political commentary, on a host of national issues and current event topics facing America. I received the 2007 Editors Choice Award, for Outstanding Achievement in poetry, presented by Poetry.com and the International Library of Poetry, and I am a proud member of the National Writers Association.

8 comments

  1. I happened to read an article in a doctor’s office recently from the Atlantic Monthly. It was titled “why are young people having less sex than before”. I think it was the December or November issue. Very insightful, worth reading. This is huge. I had no idea this was happening and a problem today. WTF is wrong with that generation? I’m sure sociologists can debate whether or not there are other variables that contribute to this issue, but I’d say not having sex is pretty high up there.

    • What’s “wrong” with this generation not having teenage sex? Are you seriously asking that? They’re…better informed? They know the risks and are using better judgment than previous generations? Are you trying to argue we should have more teenage mothers?

  2. Parental leave (both maternal and paternal) should be at least partially government funded – the State has good reason to want to increase the childbirth rate, and it would be a relatively low-cost and easy way to do so. Maybe something like the government providing a dollar match with your employer on up to 50% of your salary up to the median income for 3 months per parent? So if you make 45k/year, the business pays half and the government matches that, so parents could spend the first few months with their babies. Reducing childcare costs is important too, but that’s trickier to manage without distorting the market too much.

    • What small business has enough cash flow to pay half an employee’s salary and then simultaneously hire a temporary replacement worker for probably the same salary? It’s a nice idea but totally unrealistic for the average small business owner. Can you imagine how quickly the local ice cream parlor or independent pizza shop owner would be put out business by this kind of a policy? Maybe Ford or GM can do it. But the small, independent business owner who only has 3-4 employees would be crushed by this.

      • Your right that small businesses might not be able to do so, but if they want to retain the employee then currently they have *no* help from the government. And it wouldn’t be a requirement – if the business can only pay 10% of your salary, the government pays another 10%. If the business can’t afford to keep you on, then they have to let you go just like today. The other option would be the government picking up 100% of the cost, but that seems extreme to me, maybe you think that’d be better?

  3. When illegals get FREE heathcare and FREE daycare and the citizens have to pay for everything, no wonder. I would have had more children, if I could do it for FREE.

  4. Making Babies No Longer a Priority in America!! THAT IS RIGHT- BUT KILLING BABIES IS ON TOP OF THE LIST!
    HOW ABOUT SOME COMMENTS ON THE “MURDERS” OF INNOCENT “BABIES”?? DEMOCRATS WHAT IS “YOUR” ANSWER TO THIS! YOU SUPPORT THE”PLANNED PARENTHOOD” TGE BABY KILLING MACHINE!
    MURDER COMES NATURAL WITH YOU DEMOCRATS!

  5. Dear Bob A:
    Trying to figure out if your article is negative or positive? Is there something wrong with the reasons you give? It seems that most children are being born out of wedlock these days, and that’s pretty bad. I’d rather see immigrants with devoted fathers bring children here. Back in my day the Catholic immigrants from Europe had the dozen-child families and it didn’t turn out so bad. Is the child of an immigrant from any nation or color less desirable to America’s welfare than the WASP Americans or WASC Americans?
    Regarding your article, it wasn’t anything new, just rehash. So what was your point?

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