Is the Declining US Fertility Rate Good or Bad?

If the era just after World War II was called the Baby Boom, does that make us currently in the midst of a baby bust? According to the latest reports†from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States is experiencing its lowest fertility rate ever recorded, and many are debating†whether that is good news, or something more ominous.

“After years of consistent decline, new data reveal the US fertility rate has hit a record low, according to the Centers for Disease Control,” Business Insider reports. “Provisional 2016 data showed a 1% decline from the year prior. That brings the general fertility rate among women 15 to 44 to 62.0 births per 1,000 women.”

Before anyone worries that we are entering a Handmaid’s Tale-esque land of rampant infertility and begins rounding up childbearing women for Earth re-population, it’s important to note that the reasons for the decline aren’t a bad thing at all.

People of childbearing age in the U.S. are simply not getting pregnant as young as before. And by waiting longer to start a family, these individuals appear to be having less children. A sharp decrease in teen pregnancy also seems to factor in, and the same goes for†those in their younger 20s — likely due to better and more consistent birth control use.

“[Donna M. Strobino, a professor of population, family and reproductive health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health] is among those who is optimistic and sees hope in the data,” the†Washington Post reports. “She points out that the fall in birthrates in teens ó an age when many pregnancies tend to be unplanned ó is something we want and that the highest birthrates are now among women 25 to 34 years of age. ‘What this is is a trend of women becoming more educated and more mature. Iím not sure thatís bad,’ she explained.”

Others are expressing grave concerns that the “missing babies” — about 4 million of them, according to demographic models based on the the birth rate prior to 2008, when the decline began — mean that the U.S. will not have the people needed to keep it economically prosperous.

“Over the long term, the baby bust could carry profound consequences for public policy if fertility rates donít rebound. Classrooms could see more empty seats. Smaller workforces would likely reduce tax revenues. And demands for social services could shift,” Governing.com explains, adding, “…For starters, fewer workers in future years would likely cause tax bases to shrink. That poses serious problems, especially given the countryís aging demographics and the large segment of baby boomers already retiring. Consider Medicare: There were 3.1 taxpaying workers per Medicare recipient in 2015, a number projected to drop to 2.3 by 2030, according to the Medicare Board of Trustees.”

Of course, the idea that those who can get pregnant somehow owe the government a certain amount of children by a certain period in their lives is truly “Handmaid’s Tale” in the making.

First, trying to use taxes, Medicare, Social Security or any other form of government programs as a reason people need to keep up the U.S. population is ludicrous. The biggest threat to services isn’t a declining birthrate — it’s the GOP’s insistence on eliminating them.

Meanwhile, if Republicans really want a bigger tax base, more workers and fuller classrooms there is a simple means of getting them immediately — end the throttling of legal immigration and offer an immediate path to citizenship for those who are undocumented and already living in the country.

These facts aren’t likely to stop those who oppose reproductive rights from using the news to push harder for their own political agenda — namely,†making abortion illegal, stopping comprehensive sex ed and blocking as much birth control access as possible. As long as we have presidential candidates who claim that Social Security would be endlessly funded if not for our “abortion culture,” the social conservatives will use any means to get their pronatalist views into law.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

74 comments

Susan C
Susan Coss4 months ago

I myself have dealt with infertility and my tremendous appreciation to Doctor Muna. I went straight to marvelspelltemple@g mail. com after three failed IUIs. I got pregnant on my first Enthusiastic infertility Spell done by Doctor Muna.

It was over 16 years ago and I can tell not being able to conceive on my time table is still one of the most painful things of my life. I now have three beautiful children and Doctor Muna Infertility Spell have changed a lot over the last 22 years.

However, I would expect anyone to make their pregnancy announcement about Doctor Muna Infertility Spell with my post, Even my best friends announced their pregnancies to me after fascinating Doctor Muna infertility spell. I can still remember each and everyone of them over the years we were trying to conceived. God has us all on a different journey and while I agree we need to love and be sensitive to one another, I totally disagree that we should ever make someones else’s joy about our pain. I have to chalk all this self focus up to a generational thing. This is my only explanation. I am a follower of Christ and i got to give what belongs to Cesar unto him to helped me conceived. We should weep with one another. If these are good friends of yours they should know about Doctor Muna Enthusiastic Infertility Spell period!! Their Pain should never be about your Joy!

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Marie W
Marie Wabout a year ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Patricia H
Patricia Harris1 years ago

And DIane L says this will NOT be a happy ending (in an article that was posted AFTER this one was awhile ago)? Did she even read this article, yet? If so, was it before or after she even commented about overpopulation on the article about how Americans are getting smarter about climate change? She'll never be happy, even IF the population goes down by even a little. What a sad, sad women DIane has allowed herself to become. I have no regrets for being so optimistic, in fact, I wasn't before. I used to be just like DIane when I was a child. I was as pessimistic as can be. However, I was always having some pretty bad luck because of this state of mind, so I tried to find something that would help get rid of my curse. IT WORKED!!!!!!!!!

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JT S
Past Member 1 years ago

Considering how overpopulated Earth is in terms of homo sapiens, a large decline fertility is needed. I am referring to humanity as a whole, not [fill in ethnic/other subset of choice] when }I say this.

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Past Member
Past Member 1 years ago

good news! we are overpopulated

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Carl R
Carl R1 years ago

Thanks!!!

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Janis K
Janis K1 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe1 years ago

Thanks for the info. I forwarded this article to some friends.

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Janet B
Janet B1 years ago

Thanks

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Carl R
Carl R1 years ago

Thanks!!!

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