According to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. birth rates keep falling – and nobody can figure out why. Last year, there were only 59 births per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44, and that’s 2 percent lower than the rate for the previous year. In fact, 2018 births were the lowest recorded since the government even began tracking them 110 years ago, in 1909.
Although that seems like a lot fewer births, there were still a shade under 3.8 million babies born in 2018.
The biggest drops in birth rates were with women under 35 and more specifically, those in their early 20s.
But although the CDC can’t zero in on the reason, there have been numerous studies that say millennials – who sit comfortably in the most prolific baby-making age group – just don’t want to have children because they’re not sure about what the future holds. That’s true for finances, the environment and the climate.
Couples spend an average of 25 percent of their income on child care in the U.S. (In other wealthy nations, it’s about 15 percent.) Housing costs are pretty high, too, and job security isn’t what it used to be. Pair that with the fact that college-degreed professionals are having a hard time even finding jobs to pay off their crippling student loan debt, and each couple has an average of about 30,000 reasons not to have children.
A recent INSIDER poll conducted a survey that revealed surprising results, too – it said that nearly 30 percent of Americans agree that couples should “consider the negative and potentially life-threatening effects of climate change when deciding whether or not to have children.”
What Do You Think?
What do you think about the declining birth rate in the U.S.? Will it affect us long into the future, or do you believe the rates will bounce back up? Do you think that finances, climate and the environment should all play a role in whether millennials choose to have kids? I’d love for you to share your thoughts on this, so join me on Facebook or on Twitter and chime in!