We Know The Tragic Reasons Behind Declining Birth Rates – But What’s The Answer?

 

While it may not seem obvious to us as we gather for playdates or attend school events, women in the U.S. are having far less children on a national average than a generation ago.

We might think this is an issue of our changing culture, as feminists and progressives scream from the rooftops about the “inconvenience” of having children.

But it goes far deeper than that, and there are many frightening reasons behind the decline in birth rates in the U.S.

Each year, the Center for Disease Control shares its data on U.S. vital statistics, the average annual birth and death rates.

The current data shows that for every 1,000 women in the U.S., there are about 1,765 babies born, or an average of 1.8 children each  (the root of those jokes we all tell when we question how you can have 1.8 children).

But, jokes aside, it’s a serious issue, and one that stands to have a grave impact on the U.S. population should that rate continue – or worse, continue to decline.

Only the states of Utah and South Dakota showed a birth rate necessary to replace its population for 2019.  All told, the U.S. birth rate is 16 percent lower than needed to replace the population over time.

The reasons are startling, to say the least, and most of us are unaware of what’s going on and why.

While the U.S. is considered one of the most developed countries in the world, it also has the highest mortality rate.  Twenty-six thousand out of every 100,000 women die in childbirth in the U.S. every year.

As Mommy Underground has reported, poverty and lack of education lead to women not being able to afford health insurance or medical care, and for women who have access to quality care, underlying medical factors that are a direct result of our cultural lifestyles – obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes — are to blame.

In addition to the need for changes to childbirth protocols, the U.S. is also the most expensive nation in which to give birth – upwards of $32,000 without insurance.  

Even with medical insurance, it can sometimes cost a family up to $10,000 out of pocket to have a baby – and that’s for a vaginal birth without complications.  It only goes up from there.

And once we do have children, we are met with one of the lowest averages of paid maternity and paternity leave in the world.  

It is our maternal instinct to spend as much time as possible with our newborns, and yet, many women are given no option but to choose between that precious time and keeping their jobs.  

Then there’s another major financial aspect to consider – childcare.  This is a big one because it’s a financial burden that will last for several years and costs as much as a mortgage or rent payment.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recommends spending no more than ten percent of a family’s household income on childcare – but that’s nearly impossible to do.

The current median household income in the U.S. is just over $60,000, meaning $6,000 a year should go to childcare – far less than the estimated $1,500 a month average of the true cost of full-time care.

And even though it’s better for the child and family as a whole, choosing to have one parent stay at home because it is cheaper than paying for daycare still puts modern families in a major financial bind.

To make matters worse, prices for everything from homes, to cars, to food and clothing has skyrocketed far more quickly than our paychecks.  

The national average for wages has remained nearly the same for four decades – a major reason that working mothers were uncommon then and families were not stretched to their limits financially.

And then there’s the debt we stack up before we even have children – student loans that take a lifetime to repay and the need to spend far more to survive than ever before.  It’s now nearly impossible to find a job that doesn’t require having a car and cell phone.

Because this all started becoming a problem in our parents’ generation, there is less family wealth, and therefore less help from parents for children who want to go to college or trade school to earn a decent wage.

It’s a vicious circle that leads to one of the most tragic reasons behind the decline in birth rates – Americans are exhausted.

We work many more hours a week on average than workers in other nations.  We feel pressured to balance career and family and keep up appearances and expectations – that cell phone, that education, the nice car and home.

It’s unsustainable, and it’s making our population unsustainable if something doesn’t change.

Writer Christopher Ingraham stated the obvious in the Washington Post:  At the risk of stating the obvious, having kids is a necessary condition for our biological and economic survival. The species must perpetuate itself, and at the country level, if economic growth is to continue, it behooves couples to churn out as many future employees and taxpayers as possible.”

The real tragedy is that women are being fed a message that a government-run socialist agenda bordering on communism will change all of this.  

We’ve seen what happens in those countries, as government agencies starve their citizens, regulate jobs and housing, and ultimately choose who lives or dies.

There is a need for change, yes, but not changes like the lies we’re being fed.  

Having children is human instinct, and it is necessary for our survival.  It makes the God-designed family unit complete, and the tide must change to change all of the factors that are creating a decline in our population.

What do you think has caused such a downward spiral in the ability to have a large family?  Leave us your thoughts.

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