The Center for Disease Control (CDC) just released new data that revealed the U.S. birth rate has hit an all-time low in 2018. This new trend of Americans not having babies is somewhat surprising. The US has been long known for its high and consistent birth rates.
The U.S. fertility rate now stands at 1.73 children per woman of childbearing age. The needed level to add a replacement population is 2.1 children per childbearing women. We are sharing this new trend and rate with many Western European countries who've long had lower birth rates. Feminism and the growing equality in developed countries are playing a role in falling birth rates.
As women become more equal to men by working outside the home and sharing equal parenting duties with their male partners, the birth rate falls. Both sexes share the struggle of a life and family balance.
Birth rates are declining worldwide and experts advise that a low birth rate usually spells trouble for the future and the country's economy. Without citizens being born, there will be a smaller workforce entering the country as older generations retire or pass on. This leads to gaps in employment in needed industries and lack of care for the elderly.
What the researchers found most interesting is that the largest decline of birth rates worldwide occurred in countries with more conservative values where most women don't work outside the home. Gender equality is not large in these nations meaning women are expected to have babies and raise them at home. In more developed nations where a majority of women do work outside the home, the birth rate was low but not quite as low.
There are many theories as to why Americans are giving birth less and less. The economy is on the rise and the unemployment rate is at an all-time low but salaries and hourly pay have been stagnant. The working poor can barely afford their rent and food.
People are also forgoing in raising children. People are also having children later in life establishing careers, finding themselves, or enjoying carefree travel/lifestyles before being tethered down by a baby. By the time, babies are being born parents are older and only want, (or can have), fewer children.
The U.S birth decline is cause for concern but only the future will tell how it will affect the future of the country. Did your career or the current state of the economy affect your baby plans? Let us know what you think about falling birth rates...and if you're playing a role.