The study follows a recent CDC report that indicated the US birth rate plummeted by 4% in a single year, the greatest single-year decrease in over 50 years, and the lowest number of births since 1979. The study's authors said they were surprised by the magnitude of the decline.
They argue that the falling rate is probably not due to more women choosing not to have children rather than being forced into infertile marriages. They say that its main driver appears to be an increase in the number of Americans who are opting for infertility treatments instead. The study also notes that many countries with high rates of childlessness have similar levels of unemployment and underemployment as America does.
Its authors conclude that these results "suggest that the rise in female employment has had a negative impact on childbearing."
Births fell by 4% during the course of the year, according to the data. Last year, there were 3,605,201 births in the United States, the lowest number since 1979. Since its recent peak in 2007, the birthrate—measured as the number of newborns per thousand women aged 15 to 44--has declined by roughly 19%. It's a natural outcome of many factors, including an increasing age of marriage and childbirth for American women.
The decline is not seen across the board, though. Women with high school degrees or more are having more children than ever, while those without any college education are having less. And although black women are still more likely than white women to give birth, the difference between them has narrowed. In 2015, there were nearly 1 million births to white women and 900,000 births to black women. That's the first time there have been equal numbers of births to both groups.
There are several possible explanations for the declining rate of childbirth. One factor is that women are waiting until they're older to get married and have children. This could be because they want to go to college or get another job before committing themselves full-time, but it also may be because marriages are lasting longer than once thought possible.
Another reason might be that fewer women are dying during childbirth. Although deaths from childbirth remain rare, the number of women who survive their babies' births is on the rise.
The birth rate in the United States has been progressively falling over the last 30 years, with 11.4 births per 1,000 inhabitants in 2019.... From 1990 to 2019, the birth rate in the United States was at a record high (per 1,000 population)
|Characteristic||Birth rate per 1,000 of population|
Births fell so precipitously in 1972 that, according to official figures released today, the fertility rate has now plummeted to 2.03 children per family, much below the "replacement level" of 2.1 children. The number of births was so low that it accounted for all of the increase in the population last year.
The decline is a result of two factors: increased access to contraception, and a rising preference for child-bearing over child-raising. Today, nearly 80 percent of women of child-bearing age are using some form of contraception, compared with just over 70 percent in 2000. This is leading to reduced birth rates despite increasing numbers of marriages lasting only until death or divorce.
Furthermore, mothers are now staying in school longer which means they don't have time to raise children. Also, many parents want their children to go to college, so they work while they're studying. When you add up these three factors, you get a picture of why birth rates are falling all over the world.
Here in the United States, the use of contraceptives has risen sharply over the past few decades. In 1970, only about one in four women used some form of contraception; by 2007, this had risen to more than half.