Debunking the Myth: Exploring the Factors Behind the Decline in Birth Rates

Contrary to popular belief, recent research indicates that young Americans have not been deterred from having children.

In fact, the intentions of how many they intend on raising have remained consistent over the past few decades, showing no signs of the country’s declining birth rate slowing down any time soon.

U.S. Fertility Rates at Their Lowest Levels

Despite the fact that U.S. fertility rates are at their lowest levels since 1970, new research had found women born between 1995-1999 still wanted to have an average of 2.1 children when they were in the 20-24 age group.

This is barely a difference from those born during 1965-1969 who sought exactly two point two.

An emerging trend among young adults – trouble having children as intended- is linked to evidence that millennials view now as an unfavorable time for parenthood, according to new research conducted by Sarah Hayford from The Ohio State University.

With the reasons behind this phenomenon yet unknown, one can only ponder what could be causing such a shift in today’s youth.

According to Dr. Gordon Hayford, Director of The Ohio State University’s Institute for Population Research, raising children in the U.S has become increasingly difficult.

That’s due to a combination of economic insecurity and childcare costs that are too high for many families today – a stark contrast from previous generations just decades ago.

Dr. Hayford and Dr. Karen Benjamin Guzzo, professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina and director of the Carolina Population Center, teamed up to reveal a new study that has just been published in ‘Population and Development Review.’

The results are sure to have an impact on current population trends.

Childbearing Goals and Behaviors

A group of scientists has studied a cohort spanning several decades with the aim of understanding their childbearing goals and behaviors.

Data collected from The National Survey of Family Growth provided invaluable insights that offered an up-close look at how these individuals navigated parenthood over time.

A new study spanning five decades reveals many individuals are now choosing to have smaller families or no children at all.

Researchers looked at a total of 23 cohorts composed of both men and women born between the 1960s and 2000s – uncovering varied intentions for future family sizes among these generations.

The study revealed the number of children desired by Americans hadn’t changed drastically over several decades, even though more people are now not planning to have any.

Men prefer fewer kids than women on average, but their ideal family size also stayed consistent in this time period. Despite these findings, there is still a decline in births which can only be attributed to other societal factors at work.

Despite a reduction in unintended births, people are still not having as many kids at the age they desire.

This is according to Sarah Hayford of Ohio State University, who finds while birth rates have fallen over recent decades, it hasn’t been enough to meet the desires for larger families among 20-somethings.

This article appeared in Right Wing Insider and has been published here with permission.