July 1, 2022

What’s Causing America’s Baby Bust?

When the COVID-19 pandemic started and lockdowns became part of our daily lives, some romantic souls were predicting that this would produce a baby boom.

Now, as the data shows up, we see exactly the opposite.

CBS obtained data from health departments in over two dozen states that shows “a 7% drop in births in December — nine months after the first lockdowns began.”

Research from the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., predicts that births may well be down 300,000 to 500,000 in 2021.

The prediction is based on a negative correlation between birth rates and the unemployment rate. Higher unemployment means fewer babies.

Brookings also notes, contrary to what the romantics thought would happen, that surveys of couples, particularly those with young children at home, report declines in sexual activity.

But these COVID-related hits to birth rates really attach to a trend of declining fertility rates in the U.S. that has been going on for years.

In 2020, the U.S. fertility rate stood at 1.78. The fertility rate is the average number of children women have during their reproductive years. A fertility rate of 2.1 is needed to maintain stasis — to have sufficient births to offset deaths so the total population size remains consistent and doesn’t shrink.

It’s evident that the U.S. is way below this and the rate keeps dropping. Just a decade ago, in 2010, the fertility rate stood at 2.06.

What’s happening? Why aren’t Americans making babies?

According to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, it’s because the times are so hard and stressful.

“(E)ntire generations are sunk w/inhumane levels of student debt, low incomes, high rent, no guarantee of healthcare & little action on climate change,” she tweeted out to explain our baby bust.

Are things really so uniquely hard today compared with times gone by that couples no longer want to bring children into the world?

Are we not procreating because young couples are stressed out that economies are spewing too much carbon into the atmosphere, which will supposedly cause temperatures to rise?

In 1935, at the height of the Great Depression, when the nation’s unemployment rate stood at 20%, the fertility rate was 2.17 — above the replacement rate and well above today’s 1.78.

The U.S. fertility rate in 1900 was almost 4, more than double today’s rate. Please don’t tell me it was because times were so much more safe and certain over a century ago.

In a 2019 Pew Research survey, 16% said having children is essential for a man to have a fulfilling life. Twenty-two percent said it is essential for a woman to have a fulfilling life.

In the same survey, 57% said that “having a job or a career they enjoy” is essential for a man to have a fulfilling life. Forty-six percent said “having a job or career they enjoy” is essential for a woman to have a fulfilling life.

Regarding being married, 16% said it is essential for a man to have a fulfilling life, and 17% said it is essential for a woman to have one.

This data, I think, sheds light on why Americans are not having children. It’s not because times are so hard. Every time is challenging, and Americans are more comfortable and prosperous today than ever in history.

Maybe the Brookings scholars will be right about having 300,000 fewer births in the U.S. in 2021 because of COVID. But consider that in Planned Parenthood’s most recent fiscal year, it performed 354,871 abortions.

Having children is about life, and life is about caring for more than just yourself. Calling abortion women’s health care and thinking that your job is three times more important than bringing new life into the world is not a sign of a healthy culture with a healthy soul.

If we want insight into our baby bust, this is what we should be thinking about.

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.


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James Morgan (@guest_1168089)
1 year ago

Who wants to bring children into a commie world. I worry about my grandchildren.

Eileen Ross (@guest_1168142)
Reply to  James Morgan
1 year ago

Oh my gosh, I thought I wrote that until I looked at your name. Seriously…..

bob onit (@guest_1168168)
Reply to  James Morgan
1 year ago

My logic too, at the rate the dems are taking us to hell (no hand basket required) next they will be telling us we’re all volunteered for ”Soylent Green in their green new deal” spit that out ,it’s your cousin Floyd , Wilbur .

John (@guest_1168683)
Reply to  James Morgan
1 year ago

Exactly. Why would any red-blooded American want to bring children into a communist country?

Dave (@guest_1168101)
1 year ago

No need to give the Democrats any more childrens minds
to poison..

JOSEPH Milardo (@guest_1168112)
1 year ago

The way today’s world is heading for and the sick crazy so call government we have which is not even a true government. Who would want to put a child into this world when everything is going to be against them and with this crazy thing they have transgender and all that other b******* I would not a child to be born into this kind of atmosphere what is going on is so demonic. I do not care about myself I am in my late sixties but I have two children and four grandsons and I am scared as hell what they are about going to experience unless President Trump gets back in other than that I am trying to teach them what is right and what is wrong and what’s going on. Shame on anyone who’s thinking of having a baby. Today’s generation don’t even know how to take care of an infant or even as the infant gets older they are growing up and a demonic atmosphere. And today young parents don’t even know how to handle them. Today’s children have no respect for their parents. Back in my day you were taught discipline and respect for others or else you got the belt.

Gail Ellen Loud (@guest_1168146)
Reply to  JOSEPH Milardo
1 year ago

Agree 100 percent!

Stephen Russell (@guest_1168118)
1 year ago

Wuhan/Covid virus
No medical care for OB GY cases
Laid off work
No income

Baby bust alone

Wanda S Gregory (@guest_1168126)
1 year ago

No babies, no communist indoctrinated next generation.
There has always been sick, starving children somewhere! Start sterilizing drug addicts, alcoholics, the mentally ill, rapists and felons. These personalities should not be allowed to have children that they usually can’t/don’t/won’t take care of. Save the children from being starved, abused, sold or tortured. This would also lower the abortion numbers and the “system” financial drag on American tax payers who it seems Leftist Democrats expect to pay for every nation.

Beverly Alley (@guest_1168895)
Reply to  Wanda S Gregory
1 year ago

sounds like a winner to me!

Janice (@guest_1168129)
1 year ago

Most women work. They don’t have time or don’t want to take the time to care for children. Raising children is expensive. Some young couples want a big house, expensive cars and vacations. If they get all those things, they can’t afford children plus some of them are aborting them.

US Patriot (@guest_1168458)
1 year ago

No one wants to bring children in to a Communist Democrat Totalitarian 3rd world country! Communist Democrats are evil and must be destroyed! The Communist Democrats belong in prison for life!

Joel Vang (@guest_1168494)
1 year ago

This is the reason WE are failing, lack of hope. Conservatives all think the democrat commies are taking us to Chinese utopia hell. The bad guys WANT YOU TO HATE AMERICA. BILL GATES WANTS YOU TO HAVE LESS KIDS BECAUSE LIFE IS TOO STRESSFUL. Why give them what they want? Why drink the coolade they are feeding YOU? It is more important than ever to have kids NOW!! The truth is you can’t change your neighbor’s mind; but you CAN have kids and raise them in God’s truth. That is the only way this will be saved.

Javiernop (@guest_1234147)
1 year ago

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tinder online

Javiernop (@guest_1244681)
1 year ago

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