People feel more concerned about the future than they did several decades ago. They are concerned about the economy, child care, and whether they can have children.
The researchers conducted the study using data from the National Survey of Family Growth, which has been asking people about their childbearing goals and behaviors over several decades.
They looked at 13 women and 10 men born between the 1960s and 2000s. They were all asked how many children they wanted to have, if any.
Why do people postpone parenthood? Causes and Social Policy Incentives
An increase from about 5–8% in the 1960s and 1970s to 8–16% in the 1990s and 2000s said they did not plan to have any children. But this alone cannot explain the decline in the number of children born.
The researchers noted that the number of unwanted births, especially among those in their 20s, has declined in recent decades, helping to lower the birth rate.
But that doesn’t change the fact that people don’t have as many children as they say they want, especially at earlier ages. It could be that they will have children when they are 35.
The study also found that people are reducing the number of children as they get older. This is due to the difficulty of raising children in the United States.
Also, would-be parents may have more difficulty conceiving as they get older. Large economic and social forces are also having an impact on the birth rate.
This study ended before COVID-19, but the pandemic served as another fertility shock, at least at first. It remains to be seen whether fertility will be able to rebound not only from the Great Recession, but also from the pandemic.
For those concerned about America’s declining birth rate, this study suggests that there is no need to pressure youth to have more children.
Instead, it would be a good idea to make it easier for them to have the children they want by removing barriers that revolve around economics, child care, and health insurance.Life Style