The US birthrate has dropped again, for the sixth straight year to be exact. But is that really a shocker? We all know that the economic climate in the United States has been volatile for quite some time, so I don’t find this information to be all that staggering. What is interesting, though, is that there were actually more deaths in 2020 than there were births. When you consider the toll of the pandemic, this information also doesn’t seem like it’s all that surprising. But get this: There were just over 3.6 million babies born in 2020 – which is the lowest it’s been since 1979. A decrease in immigration and a higher number of deaths in the last decade has resulted in the country’s population to have expanded at the second-slowest rate since the government started keeping track in the 18th century.
A total of twenty-five states had more deaths than births last year, up from just five states at the end of 2019.https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/05/us/us-birthrate-falls-covid.html
There are a few reasons why the birthrate has decreased. Many women are choosing to wait longer in life before having kids. Studies find that there are less jobs available to younger people that are able to provide a wage that can support a family. Lots of people are pursuing education and careers instead of children – which makes sense. People want to be able to financially support their families, and the age of being able to do that is now much older than it has been in the past.
Another reason the birthrate is going down is because many women are deciding that they don’t want to have kids. Children are expensive and women are more independent than ever before. It’s becoming more socially acceptable for women to not become mothers.
In all, I don’t find this to be really all that surprising. I think it just shows how fragile people find the economy and how much they value different things than they did just years ago. I’m currently pregnant with my second, and to tell you the truth, I don’t know what we are going to do once this new baby arrives. We already pay $500 a month on daycare, which is honestly on the low end for childcare expenses. Add another child to that and it turns to $1,000 a month just for daycare. I make less than $800 every paycheck after taxes and insurance fees come out. Not to mention, my insurance will go up after adding another child to it. How am I supposed to afford $1,000 in childcare, a mortgage, a phone, an electricity bill, internet, groceries, gas, and more on less than $600 a month? It may just end up where I have to put aside my career for a bit and stay home with the kids. I’ve been considering my options, but it all seems very bleak. In a time that should be very happy and exciting, there are so many obstacles that I’m trying to figure out how to overcome. No wonder people don’t want to have kids. There just isn’t enough help out there for us.
The decrease in the birthrate is going to affect the economy, and we don’t yet know how that will impact our taxes and programs. There are going to be less workers in the workforce, so I’d assume we will get hit with more money coming out of our pockets. The US seems to be a very uncertain place these days. This is a big social change, so who knows how it’s going to be dealt with. Only the future can tell.