“In 2017, the nationwide fertility rate was 1,765.5 births per 1,000 women of childbearing age—well below the rate of 2,100 births per 1,000 women necessary to keep the population stable.“
That rate has gone down even further to the lowest total in three decades. We’re now down to 1.7 births per woman. There are a lot of reasons for that, but among them are…
- Kids have turned from an economic asset to an economic liability: Kids used to not only help their parents around the farm, but they were also a retirement plan. When people got too old to work, the government didn’t take care of them; their kids did. That was then. Now, it costs $233,610 to raise a child from birth to 18. If it’s a question of economics, you’re better off not having kids.
- People are getting married later: “According to the most recent estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, the average age of first marriage for women in 2017 was 27.4 years. For men, it’s slightly older at 29.5 years. That’s the longest Americans have ever waited to get married. To put it in perspective, in 1990, the average age of marriage for women was 24; in 1980 it was 22; and back in the 50s, it was only 20.”
The later you get married, the fewer children you are likely to have if you have kids at all.
- The number of marriages has dropped and the number of divorces has skyrocketed: Almost every data point shows that children raised in marriage do better than kids had out of wedlock. It’s also unquestionably easier and more affordable for a couple to raise a child than someone who’s single. So, when you have numbers like these, you are going to have fewer children,
To previous generations, America’s single population might be seen as outrageous. In 1960, 72 percent of adults were married. Among today’s growing single population, 63 percent have never been married, 23 percent are divorced, and 13 percent are widowed.
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4. The decline of religion: It’s not a secret that the number of religious Americans has been slowly, but steadily declining. That’s a bigger deal than most people realize for a lot of reasons including that religious people have more children,
(N)onreligious women have lower fertility rates than religious women (1.5 completed fertility for nonreligious women vs. 2.6 children for fundamentalists, 2.2 for Catholics, and 2.0 for mainline Protestants).
5. The number of entertaining options other than sex has soared: If you’re a dirt poor peasant in a dirt floor shack who can barely afford to eat, sex has to be pretty close to your best entertainment option. In a world with porn, video games, television, Netflix and new blockbuster movies every week, sex has become one appealing option out of many instead of the goto entertainment source for couples.