The U.S. saw a 30-year record low for birth rates in 2017, but the country’s increasingly prosperous economy could soon lead to a surge in childbirth.
A Gallup poll showed 70 percent of American adults on average preferred having three or more children between 1938 and 1968, according to the New York Post. But starting in the 1970s — largely due to changes in family roles, divorce and out-of-wedlock births — the number of Americans who want at least three children has wavered between 32 and 42 percent.
Fertility rates hit a 30-year record low in 2017, according to NPR.
One explanation for the decrease in fertility rates could be an increase in wealth and quality of life, according to The New York Times. As people become richer, live longer lives and reside in metropolitan areas, their desire and likelihood to have babies tends to decrease, George Mason University professor Philip Auerswald and author Joon Yun wrote in TheNYT article. (RELATED: Study: US Birth Rate Is At 30-Year Low)
Birth rates typically reflect economic situations, including depressions, recessions and even periods of economic growth. Birth rates dropped during the financial crisis between 2007 and 2009, but despite record-low unemployment and continuous economic growth, the latest data published in a July Gallup poll shows 41 percent of Americans think the ideal family should include at least three children, the Post reported.
The Manhattan Institute’s Aaron Renn predicts the trend of every child going to college and obtaining massive amounts of debt will soon be a thing of the past. Higher education enrollment is already declining, according to the Post.
Post-college young adults struggled in their search for jobs, often taking underpaid positions and living in overpriced cities between 2008 and 2013, which contributed to low rates of marriage and birth, the Post reported. But Newgeography proprietor Joel Kotkin said a growing and expanding economy — like the U.S. is currently experiencing — has made young people more likely to reside in child-friendly geographical locations and living arrangements.
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