The nation’s birth rates last year reached record lows for women in their teens and 20s, a new government report shows. For those keeping score at home that’s the fewest babies in over three decades.
The report, based on more than 99% of U.S. birth records, found 3.788 million births last year. “It was the fourth year the number of births has fallen,” reported the AP, “the lowest since 1986 and a surprise to some experts given the improving economy.”
I always hear explanations from “experts” that birth rates drop in times of economic difficulties but then they also worry that poor countries have such high birth rates. I don’t know how they correlate those two things. I suspect that in the end the willingness to have children, love them, and raise them has very very little to do with economics.
Interestingly, however, I do believe the baby drought will have a massive economic impact. The fertility rate of 1.7 births per U.S. woman also fell 2%. The replacement rate is 2.1. That means the current generation isn’t making enough babies to replace itself. In a society that depends on tax money to pay for programs for older and retired this is a big economic problem. It’s been called a “Demographic time bomb.”
It’s an irony that our sex obsessed culture isn’t making enough babies. But maybe that makes perfect sense because we’ve attempted to separate sex from pregnancy. To do so, our culture has had to turn its back on Christianity and embrace contraception. Christianity calls us to love one another, not simply gain consent to gratify ourselves on top of one another. A bit of a higher bar, don’t you think?
We’ve also had to make some reclassifications such as tiny human beings are no longer considered tiny human beings but “blobs of tissue” or “products of conception” in order to really separate sex from all consequences.
Mary Eberstadt wrote in the great book “How the West Really Lost God: A New Theory of Secularization” that the decline of the family precipitated the decline of religion, not the other way around. Either way, they’re linked. But if Eberstadt is right that means that Christianity will continue receding in the U.S. as the family disintegrates.
So what is it? Americans just aren’t into babies anymore? Would it be different if people had more money in their pockets? The answer would seem to be no in that the most affluent tend to not have as many children as others.
It’s not a lack of money. What we are looking at is a lack of love, a lack of selflessness. That’s the cause. And it will be our downfall. We no longer connect with each other in meaningful ways.
We are the most connected people in the history of mankind. We can connect with people all across the globe but we feel isolated. We are a sex obsessed culture that doesn’t have babies or even get married. And unless some radical evangelization occurs in the near future, things are only going to get worse.
May 18, 2019 at 12:56 am
I just noticed that they are talking about raw number of births falling for the young 20s and under– that can actually be true, and still have folks in that grouping having a higher birth RATE, because of our population pyramid:
people and society => age structure =>blue and pink picture.
We've also got an unknown noise factor because of the popularity of anchor babies– not just among illegals, but Chinese, Russian and other countries. It's a known 'thing' in California property sales that investors from China will buy property so that a woman can come here, give birth, the kid has dual citizenship, and then they fulfill whatever hoops are required to get in-state tuition as land owners, because American colleges are impressive and Cali has some priorities for residents.
I do know that my in person observation has been that there are a LOT more new babies around.
May 18, 2019 at 5:25 pm
I don't think it is so much the lack of selflessness, although that is certainly true, but the rise of an obscene level of selfishness and self-gratification wherein even sexual relations overly involve another person's participation and thereby a requirement to share oneself, even if with someone whose name won't be remembered, or perhaps even known.
Plus we have become separated from each other through the use of electronic devices, computers, cellphones etc., that create further separation between us. People will say they send their children to public rather than homeschool to properly "socialize" their child(ren). But virtually all the "learning," (so called) in public education takes place between the student and their trusty device, which only increases as the child advances in grade, leading to a rising level of anomie in the child(ren).
I see it every day….
May 19, 2019 at 2:24 pm
It's an interesting if sobering thought, to try to imagine the root cause of anything. We are seeing religion, culture, even human beings deteriorate and why seems to me to be almost always godlessness which alters the mind and soul. The bible tells us that if we do not know God we will be intellectually and spiritually impaired, we are operating in error. Once that is in place, a domino effect will occur and it's errors all the way down the line.
May 19, 2019 at 2:36 pm
With fewer children in the world there is less life, less joy, less happiness, less laughter, less family and relationship, which is where most human beings actually find fulfillment. No career or money does that for long, and even entertaining oneself to death gets tiresome. The depression, anxiety and suicide rate shows that where people today are looking for happiness, they are not actually finding it. God created people for family and for deep bonds and relationships that last a lifetime. People today get dogs and have their hearts broken every 10 years.
May 20, 2019 at 10:07 pm
I'd never thought of that connection between pets and people being conditioned for frequent heartbreak.
May 20, 2019 at 4:34 pm
Abortion is certainly a part of it.
Good parenting is really hard work but so very rewarding.