Only half of US women under 45 have children: CDC survey

Changes in familial values and instability in relationships are among the reasons listed for why less women are undertaking motherhood.

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

A newly published survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Survey of Family Growth has revealed a decline in the number of children Americans are having, as well as the increasing age at which American women have their first child.

The survey, published on Tuesday, covers the years 2015 through 2019, and found that in this time frame 52.1 percent of women between the ages of 15-44 had at least one biological child, while between 2011 and 2015, this number was 54.9 percent.

For men, between 2015 and 2019 39.7 percent had at least one biological child, while this number was 43.8 percent between 2011 and 2015.

It was also revealed that the birth rate in the US to be 1.1 children for women under the age of 45, down from 1.3 in 2002. For men, this number has dropped to 0.8 children.

The age at which women under the age of 45 have their first child has increased, from 23.1 between 2011 and 2015 up to 23.7 between 2015 to 2019. In 2002, this age was 22.9.

For men, the age at which they have their first child has increased from 25.5 between 2011 and 2015, to 26.4 between 2015 and 2019. In 2002, this age was 25.1.

The survey notes reliable contraception, the pursuit of higher education, increased labor force participation by females, changes in familial values, instability in relationships, and financial concerns as reasons for the increasing age at which childbearing is delayed.

The survey also found that education level can have an effect on the age at which a woman has their first child.

For those who have no high school diploma or equivalent, 57.5 percent of women had their first child under the age of 20. For women who have a bachelor’s degree or higher, 42.9 percent had their first child between the ages of 30 and 49.

Additionally, the survey revealed that Hispanic and black women reported in higher numbers that they had at least one child, at 62.4 and 61.0 percent, respectively, compared to white women, at 54.6 percent.

The birth rate for Hispanic women was also higher, at 1.5, as well as for black women, 1.4, compared to white women, 1.1.

This number was also higher among Hispanic and black men, with. a birth rate of 1.1 and 1.0, respectively.

According to the Daily Mail, some states saw a sharper drop in birth rates than others.

In Arizona, for example, the number of births per 1,000 women under the age of 45 fell from 80.6 in 2005 to 54 in 2020. In Utah, this number fell from 92.8 births to 64.1.

With a declining birth rate, prominent figures like Elon Musk and Bill Gates have warned that this could cause a crisis for the country in the future.

Concerns include a shortage of workers, leading to economic stagnation and a public unable to care for the elderly population without a strong, young taxpayer base.

In August, Musk warned of this, calling the declining birth rate the "biggest threat" to mankind, one that would lead to "population collapse."


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