The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that births in the USA reached another historic low in 2020.
For the sixth consecutive year, the birth rate dropped — this time by 4%. The average annual drop in the five previous years was 2%.
The rate at which American women are having babies is way below the rate necessary to keep the population steady-state — that is, for the population not to shrink.
A steady-state population requires a total fertility rate of 2.1 children per woman. In 2020, it was 1.64.
Needless to say, for politicians, there is no problem that does not have a government solution, and the birth dearth is no exception.
Both President Joe Biden and Sen. Mitt Romney have plans for bolstering American families. The president’s American Families Plan proposes to spend a modest $1.8 trillion. Romney is pitching his Family Security Act, which proposes per-child government payments up to $1,250 per family per month.
Romney writes in The Wall Street Journal, “Young people are marrying less and having fewer kids in part because they don’t feel confident about their job prospects and financial security.”
But if less marriage and fewer children are the result of today’s economic stress, why is it that in 1960, the fertility rate was 3.58 — more than double today’s 1.64 — yet today’s real per capita income, per the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, is over three times higher than it was in 1960?
According to the Institute for Family Studies, in 2018, 35% of Americans ages 25 to 50 had never been married. In 1970, only 9% in this age range had never been married.
Is this because times got harder? I don’t think so. Per capita income in 2018 was 2.4 times higher than it was in 1970.
I don’t think our young people are avoiding marriage and children because of concerns about financial security.
I think they are avoiding marriage and children because they don’t want marriage and children.
In a Pew Research survey conducted in 2019, 16% said having children is essential for a man to have a fulfilling life, and 16% said marriage is essential for a man to have a fulfilling life, while 57% said “having a job or career they enjoy” is essential for a man to have a fulfilling life.
Regarding women, 22% said having children is essential for a fulfilling life. Seventeen percent said marriage is essential for a fulfilling life. And 46% said “having a job or career they enjoy” is essential for a fulfilling life.
What does it all mean?
In 1960, 9.1% of our population was over age 65. By 2019, 16.2% of the population was over 65.
A graying population, due to fewer and fewer children, means a shrinking portion of the population that is working and producing, and increasingly large numbers of elderly and retirees whom those working must support.
Consider our Social Security system, where retirees’ benefits are drawn from the payroll tax paid by working citizens. In 1945, there were 41.9 working citizens for every retiree. By 1950, this was down to 16.5 to 1. By 1990, it was 3.4 to 1. And as of 2013 (the latest data available), it was 2.8 to 1.
Trustees of Social Security report that by 2034, 13 years from now, the system will only have sufficient revenue to pay 76% of the benefits due to retirees.
Per the Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2016, those age 65 and over constituted 16% of our population yet represented 36% of all health care spending.
The collapse of marriage, family and the national birthrate is the result of the secularization of our culture. Faith and values have been displaced by materialism and egotism.
How do we turn it around? As a starter, let’s have more parental choice in education so parents can get their children out of public schools and into religious schools, where they can learn values that sustain life.
Star Parker is president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education and host of the weekly television show “Cure America with Star Parker.” To find out more about Star Parker and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
Stop and consider what parents are up against today trying to raise children—no wonder fewer and fewer are having them. The forces aligned against both marriage and family and the value system upon which both are built upon make it a treacherous endeavor. This is certainly not a family-friendly world—not even here in our own country. Liberals want the government to be the overseer of child upbringing and they want to fill their heads with propaganda and lies, so who can blame anybody for not wanting to bring children into the world?
Exactly. When you have the left attacking motherhood. Brainwashing your kids.. Turning your kids AGAINST YOU. Bashing men. Supporting abortion on demand etc.. ITS EASILY understandable, why some do NOT WISH TO bring a kid into this Klurpped up world.
Are America,citizens better off when public educational propaganda mills aren’t indpcring our children in how one race hates , and should,hate the other, Way to go!
Which is why if i had my way, the ENTIRE public schooling system, from the dept of indoctrination, and all school unions, would be SHUT THE HELL DOWN.. Give schooling BACK TO THE PEOPLE of the states they are in.
Star Parker, Great commentary. “Romney is pitching his Family Security Act, which proposes per-child government payments up to $1,250 per family per month”. Yep Mitt, incentivize women to have more babies by their boyfriend. A nice stable family unit, women having babies with their boyfriends, right Mitt?
WITH Wic, welfare, ebt etc, DON’T WE ALREADY HAVE enough bloody “incentivzing”?
The Left dominates American culture and has turned generations of youth into spoiled babies themselves lacking the maturity to have and raise children. Feministas starting with diabolical Betty Friedan have devalued motherhood and made abortion their cardinalvalue, brainwashing women to reject their sole unique biological gift in favor of being common worker ants.
Women vote for serial sexual assaulters like Billygoat Clinton as long as delivery of abortion is favored over delivery of babies. They insist even barbaric late term abortion of viable babies must be retained. A society whose women routinely kill their babies in utero is no more advanced than those they call primitive for abandoning babies to die of exposure.
A society that does not prize children and consider them blessings has no future, especially when the missing citizens are replaced by hostile 3rd world immigrants under the guise of needed “workers”.
The most accurate and precise analysis on this thread. Thank you minaka !
Nicely put minika.. THAT IS WHY for years, i’ve long felt that ONC A WOMAN goes in for a 2nd or more abortions.. SNIP THEM< so they can't have anymore!
Being almost totally ignored is the fact that both male and female fertility have taken a precipitous and accelerating nosedive over the last two or so decades. This is well documented in the peer reviewed medical and scientific literature. Equally well documented is the fact that environmental pollutants, especially endocrine disruptors and estrogen mimics are the prime cause. Everyone is exposed to these agents, but there is a societal ostrich syndrome (head-in-the-sand) mentality, fueled to a large degree by the political clout and enormous PR campaigns of the manufacturers and suppliers of these compounds.