The Collapse Of U.S. Fertility Rates

"Women are now having fewer babies and at older ages than in the past three decades, a change that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) reported this year, and which was confirmed this week with the release of additional data that shows that the trend holds across races and for urban and rural areas." - 

Ariana Eunjung Cha, The Washington Post - "As U.S. Fertility Rates Collapse, Finger-Pointing and Blame Follow"

Why is the US trend in declining fertility an issue?

When a developed country like the United States begins experiencing declining birthrates, it can signal a crisis that may fundamentally change the demographic trajectory. Birth rates signify a country’s economic condition and may create huge population imbalances. 

Theories as to why birth rates in the United States have gone down:

  • CHANGES IN CULTURAL NORMS
    • American women feel less pressure to marry and reproduce early, and are now able to pursue education and work.
  • CORPORATE U.S.
    • The United States offers stingy benefits and leave for parents with newborns.
  • BIRTH CONTROL
    • Teenage birthrate is currently at an all-time low and abortions are more easily accessible. However, this may indicate delays, rather than a complete absence, of future children.
  • HEALTH
    • Pollutants and poor diet may hurt reproductive health in both males and females.

 

Read more at The Washington Post


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