L.A. Times: "Americans keep having fewer babies as U.S. birthrates hit some record lows"
(The fact about 1971 impresses me.)
...The number of births tends to rise as the population rises, so statisticians like to make historical comparisons by calculating the general fertility rate. This is the number of births per 1,000 women considered to be of childbearing age (between 15 and 44).
In 2016, the U.S. general fertility rate hit a record low of 62.0 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44. In 2015, the general fertility rate was 62.5.
Another useful statistic is the total fertility rate. This is an estimate of the total number of babies that 1,000 women would have over their lifetimes, based on the actual birth rates for women in different age groups.
In 2016, the total fertility rate for American women was 1,818 births per 1,000 women. That’s the lowest it has been since 1984.
In order for a generation to exactly replace itself, the total fertility rate needs to be 2,100 births per 1,000 women. The U.S. has been missing that mark since 1971 (though the country’s population has grown due to immigration)...
...Meanwhile, birthrates for women in their teens and 20s hit record lows in 2016.
The teen birthrate reached a new low of 20.3 births per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 19. That’s 9% lower than it was in 2015; 51% lower than it was in 2007 (when the current downward trend began); and 67% lower than it was in 1991 (the year with the most recent peak).
Improvements in teen births were seen in both 15-to-17-year-olds (down 11% from 2015) and 18- and 19-year-olds (down 8% from 2015).
Statisticians also tallied 0.2 births per 1,000 girls ages 10 to 14. That rate was unchanged from 2015.
Altogether, 211,726 babies were born to women under 20 in 2016...
I just wish they'd give a chart for teen births over the last 70 years - PLUS a separate one for teen pregnancies. If fewer teen girls are getting pregnant in the first place these days than they did in the 1950s, that would suggest a better use of birth control, not abortion, FWIW.
WaPo: "The U.S. fertility rate just hit a historic low. Why some demographers are freaking out."
Granted, the title is misleading. Comment:
David C. Russell
7/3/2017 6:29 PM EST
Fertility/infertility is NOT the same as birthrates. Being fertile means you CAN have a child if you would like to. Infertility means you cannot have a child when you want to. Birthrates apply to the amount of children being born. The title of the article should be "US birthrates just hit a record low- and it could signal a 'demographic time bomb'".
But anyway, here's one of the more popular comments:
6/30/2017 7:45 AM EST
What does it say about a country that encourages its citizens to have children unlikely to be able to afford an education, whose future employment is questionable and under constant threat by technology, and have no right to healthcare? There are fewer and fewer jobs capable of supporting a family--why encourage people to have children who will likely end up among the working poor? Until our country gets its priorities right, a slowing birth rate is a reasonable response.
Me: Of course, there's also the fact that, given a chance, even well-off couples PREFER small families. People have had children for cold, selfish reasons for centuries, such as needing extra farm workers or caretakers for their old age, but deliberately having children they REALLY don't want for the sake of "the economy" was never one of them.