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The Cause of America’s Declining Birthrate
Crisis Magazine ^ | January 4, 2013 | Austin Ruse

Posted on 01/04/2013 2:14:20 PM PST by NYer

Cheaper by Dozen pic

The birthrate in the United States has fallen to record lows, according to a new study published by the Pew Research Center. What’s more, the report says the most dramatic drop has been among foreign-born Hispanic women.

We have been content for some time that the U.S.-born Caucasian birth rate was below replacement but that the Hispanics had been making up for it by having births higher than replacement, and that this made us unique in the industrialized west.

Pew reports, “The overall U.S. birthrate, which is the annual number of births per 1,000 women in the prime childbearing ages of 15-44, declined 8% from 2007 to 2010. The birthrate for U.S.-born women decreased by 6% during these years, but the birth rate for foreign-born women plunged 14%—more than it had declined over the entire 1990-2007 period. The birth rate for Mexican immigrant women fell even more, by 23%.”

The National Center for Health Statistics says the over all birth rate in 2011 is the lowest in this country since 1920. The peak year for U.S. births was 1957 when it was nearly double what it is today. With very little change, birth rates have edged downward since that time.

Pew says the reason for the current slide and what has been repeated endlessly in the press is the “Great Recession” caused this. Given the state of the economy in recent years, an economic answer is certainly plausible.

Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute is one of America’s big brains on demography and almost everything else. He has never really bought into the common wisdom that Hispanics have been reproducing at higher rates than Anglos and therefore the current slide may not be a slide at all. He suggests that babies born to undocumented women may simply have been credited to documented mothers. This would have increased the births per woman for Hispanics.

While economics could have played a part in any decline, Eberstadt sees other things at play. He points to the continuing fracture of the U.S. family structure. People of all ethic backgrounds are running from marriage and family formation. No way this couldn’t affect fertility rates. There may be lots of babies being born out of wedlock but you have to believe that most single mothers are not having multiple babies that way. They learn how to stop pretty quickly once reality dawns that their single motherhood won’t be like Madonna.

Eberstadt points to another Pew study that might shed light on fertility declines. Last October they released a study that shows a dramatic decline in religious belief. One-third of Americans between the ages of 18-24 say they have no religion. Those in the study were called “Nones.” There are more and more of them.

What does religious belief have to do with embracing children? Eberstadt says there is a strong correlation. Nones in the U.S. and Europe have matching low fertility rates while religious people in the U.S. have the same relatively high fertility rate as their counterparts in Europe. The problem for Europe is they have so many Nones. Our problem could be that we are catching up.

Why such a correlation? It could be that Nones look at this world and see nothing beyond it. This is it. There is no more. In Woody Allen’s Annie Hall, Alvy Singer is scolded for not doing his homework. “The universe is everything,” he says, “and if it’s expanding, someday it will break apart and that would be the end of everything! So what’s the point?” Such nihilism must do something to the psyche and to the desire to multiply. Woody Allen had only one biological child.

For religious people the universe is not everything, far from it. And even if the universe ended, it’s still not everything. And we would still live on. That must do something to the psyche, too, and it results in many good things including children.

And then is that thing called greed. We live in an awful greedy age. Religious folk may have a slight edge on the Nones in the greed department but not by much. This greedy age seeps into our very pores. It infects everything and everyone to a greater or lesser extent. Face it, children are inconvenient. When my wife and I married we went to Europe a lot. When our first daughter came, we still went to Europe but less. Our second daughter has never been to Europe.

For many people such things really matter. They want to be able to go to Europe or Bermuda or Patagonia. They want a new car every two years. They want a vacation house. Those inconvenient children can stand in the way of all of this. Even one child can stand in the way. Now think about two or three or four children and then ponder a future of vacations not in Paris but at the small lake down the road.

So, sure, if the Hispanic decline is real, economics may have played a part. The Great Recession might have played a part, but consider this; people far poorer than they have continued to get married, found families and produce children. This is true throughout history.

The problem to ponder is not about fertility rates and the Great Recession, but about how to chase greed from the human heart once it’s found a home there.



TOPICS: Culture/Society; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: abortion; deathofthewest; economy; family; marriage
Editor’s note: The image above is a publicity shot from the 1950 film “Cheaper by the Dozen” staring Clifton Webb and Myrna Loy.

A fabulous film!

1 posted on 01/04/2013 2:14:24 PM PST by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...
One-third of Americans between the ages of 18-24 say they have no religion.

How tragic to go through life without faith.

2 posted on 01/04/2013 2:16:17 PM PST by NYer ("Before I formed you in the womb I knew you." --Jeremiah 1:5)
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To: NYer

No caring person would want to bring a child into the world today.

Not fair to the child.


3 posted on 01/04/2013 2:19:08 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: NYer

I saw biological science film that showed that, when survival rates are high, the birth rates tend to drop. It’s a perfectly natural response to being assured that the progeny will make it to adult hood.


4 posted on 01/04/2013 2:21:58 PM PST by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: NYer

I would have said the same thing at 18, but I got over it.


5 posted on 01/04/2013 2:26:40 PM PST by Tax-chick (The paint is in the basket with the skulls in there. Don't tell me you can't find it!)
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To: NYer

They have the “religions” of existensialism and nihilism.


6 posted on 01/04/2013 2:28:18 PM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: NYer
I believe the pundits are overthinking this one. There is a virtually universal trend in which improving socioeconomic status is correlated with declining birthrates. The overall trend in the US since 1957 is a perfect illustration. It is repeated most clearly in Japan but also in countries throughout the world, including moslem countries. Even Mexico, once one of Paul Ehrlich's favorite basket cases, is approaching ZPG.

The Hispanic finding appears to be anomalous, since hispanics in the US are not noticeably gaining economic ground during a general recession. But I suspect it will turn out to be a factitious finding.

7 posted on 01/04/2013 2:39:26 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: Jonty30

Well, as you say, it was a SCIENCE film, so no thinking person could find fault with its unexamined assumptions and unsupported conclusions.


8 posted on 01/04/2013 3:01:07 PM PST by Romulus
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To: MrB
As Malcolm X once said, ‘Only a fool would let their enemy educate their children.’

Christians and conservatives send their children into godless government schools and the religious worldview taught there is, indeed, ( as you posted) godless existentialism and nihilism.

Fundamentally, it is **IMPOSSIBLE** to have a religiously neutral education. All schooling has religious worldview, and government schooling is no exception. At its best, at its inception, it taught a generic and lukewarm Protestantism, and Americans learned to be lukewarm and generic about their denomination's faith. Now government schooling is godlessly nihilistic and this author is wondering why the institution of the family is disintegrating? Is a “duh” needed here?

The Barna Foundation’s studies show that even children from highly active evangelical homes have only a 15% chance of remaining faithful two years after graduating from their nihilistic government school. The outcomes for those children from less firmly grounded Christian homes must be even worse.

9 posted on 01/04/2013 3:04:58 PM PST by wintertime
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To: hinckley buzzard
"I believe the pundits are overthinking this one"

Agree. The pill, divorce, shacking up and two incomes do not a stable family make. Religion is the glue if it is applied.

10 posted on 01/04/2013 3:15:23 PM PST by ex-snook (God is Love)
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To: MrB
They have the “religions” of existensialism and nihilism.

An astute observation! It may interest you to know that on April 18, 2005, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, (then DEAN OF THE COLLEGE OF CARDINALS), lead the PRO ELIGENDO ROMANO PONTIFICE mass that was said at the Vatican before the cardinals were sequestered in conclave to elect the next pope. One of the readings was (Eph 4: 14). In his homily, he expounded on precisely the comment you made.

How many winds of doctrine have we known in recent decades, how many ideological currents, how many ways of thinking. The small boat of the thought of many Christians has often been tossed about by these waves - flung from one extreme to another: from Marxism to liberalism, even to libertinism; from collectivism to radical individualism; from atheism to a vague religious mysticism; from agnosticism to syncretism and so forth. Every day new sects spring up, and what St Paul says about human deception and the trickery that strives to entice people into error (cf. Eph 4: 14) comes true.

Today, having a clear faith based on the Creed of the Church is often labeled as fundamentalism. Whereas relativism, that is, letting oneself be "tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine", seems the only attitude that can cope with modern times. We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one's own ego and desires.
Full Text

Those words drilled their way into my heart. That was 2005. We are now in 2013 and what Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger said, rings louder than ever.

Thanks for the post and ping.

11 posted on 01/04/2013 3:17:24 PM PST by NYer ("Before I formed you in the womb I knew you." --Jeremiah 1:5)
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To: NYer

Planned Parenthood wins again.

They have poured a fortune (given to them mostly by the Packard Foundation and the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations) into undermining the Latin American love of children and family, and it’s paying off finally. “Catholics for a Free Choice” is an organization wholly funded by the big foundations, all of which have an anti-population agenda.


12 posted on 01/04/2013 3:18:50 PM PST by livius
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To: NYer

Guess the Democrat’s rosy scenario of a booming Mexican population that would give them millions of new voters may be premature.


13 posted on 01/04/2013 3:25:40 PM PST by txrefugee
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To: NYer

The decline in religion is the number one cause. The more conservative beliefs usually coincide with a higher birth rate.


14 posted on 01/04/2013 3:31:53 PM PST by freedomfiter2 (Brutal acts of commission and yawning acts of omission both strengthen the hand of the devil.)
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To: BenLurkin

“No caring person would want to bring a child into the world today.

Not fair to the child.”

Statements like that are not helpful. They also put you in the “nones” category.

Suppose your parents had said that a few decades ago. No BenLurkin on Free Republic! Our world is not going to get better if the faithful patriots aren’t going to procreate.

There are many reason people of faith have more kids.

First, more of us marry (we don’t believe in fornication).

Second, we abort less. Theoretically not at all, but I have known of a handful of “Christians” who have under duress, to cover sin, aborted. But the rate is at least so much lower.

Third, we hopefully don’t use abortifacient birth control.

Fourth, many think that birth control of any kind is a sin.

Fifth, we are commanded to be fruitful and multiply. While I don’t think that means have all the kids you can possibly have heedless of your means, it is a general pro-child attitude.

Sixth, in our circles we are generally encouraged and supported in our child rearing, not disdained and marginalized.

Seventh, I think having and rearing good kids is insanely exhausting and only done if you have altruistic, other-centered tendencies. While Christians don’t have a patent on that, and some of us are pretty messed up, overall I do believe that mindset and attitude is predominant.

Lastly, we have sincere hope for the future.


15 posted on 01/04/2013 4:18:40 PM PST by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: NYer
One word. Obama.


16 posted on 01/04/2013 4:20:50 PM PST by MinorityRepublican
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To: Jonty30

Once birth rates drop below about 2.1 children per woman, though, you’ve crossed the line into slow societal suicide.


17 posted on 01/04/2013 5:03:11 PM PST by Campion ("Social justice" begins in the womb)
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To: NYer
Liberal elites want a 'brown' country. They're going to get it sooner than they think.

The children of the Mayflower - and Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution - have gone 'European'. In short, groups here - like in Europe - are committing cultural suicide.

We're not having children.

In two hundred years there won't be enough people speaking German to sustain the language. France will suffer a similar fate.

People will live in Germany - but they'll be Arabs. People will live in the United States but they won't be the children of the founders. I have no idea why liberal elites hate traditional Americans - but I'm glad our children and grandchildren are calling it quits. This isn't a county that is welcoming to our kinds... so we're not having kids. It's that simple.

18 posted on 01/04/2013 5:45:39 PM PST by GOPJ (It's not possible to be a Progressive and not be a hypocrite. Freeper TigersEye.)
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To: hinckley buzzard
Liberal elites want a 'brown' country. They're going to get it sooner than they think.

The children of the Mayflower - and Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution - have gone 'European'. In short, groups here - like in Europe - are committing cultural suicide.

We're not having children.

In two hundred years there won't be enough people speaking German to sustain the language. France will suffer a similar fate.

People will live in Germany - but they'll be Arabs. People will live in the United States but they won't be the children of the founders. I have no idea why liberal elites hate traditional Americans - but I'm glad our children and grandchildren are calling it quits. This isn't a county that is welcoming to people like us, so we're not having kids. It's that simple.

19 posted on 01/04/2013 5:48:41 PM PST by GOPJ (It's not possible to be a Progressive and not be a hypocrite. Freeper TigersEye.)
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To: hinckley buzzard
Liberal elites want a 'brown' country. They're going to get it sooner than they think.

The children of the Mayflower - and Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution - have gone 'European'. In short, groups here - like in Europe - are committing cultural suicide.

We're not having children.

In two hundred years there won't be enough people speaking German to sustain the language. France will suffer a similar fate.

People will live in Germany - but they'll be Arabs. People will live in the United States but they won't be the children of the founders. I have no idea why liberal elites hate traditional Americans - but I'm glad our children and grandchildren are calling it quits. This isn't a county that is welcoming to people like us, so we're not having kids. It's that simple. Americans can come in all colors and sizes - that's something good about our way. But it's rough when the culture speaks with such glee about a time when there will be fewer or no whites. It's the left at it's creepiest.

20 posted on 01/04/2013 6:03:49 PM PST by GOPJ (It's not possible to be a Progressive and not be a hypocrite. Freeper TigersEye.)
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To: BenLurkin
"No caring person would want to bring a child into the world today. Not fair to the child. "

Not a reflection on you of course, but this strikes me as cowardice disguising itself as compassion. Husbands and wives have settled down to have kids amidst troubles and insecurities much, much worse than almost anything on earth at present.

You can look at dramatic examples like people still marrying and raising families during the Fall of Rome, the Barbarian Invasions, Conquista of Mesoamerica, World Wars, Black Death.

You can see it, perhaps less dramatically, in most family trees. Mine, for instance:

Sure looks like The Decline of the West.

And I can say that a lot of those more distant people on the family tree, were having their kids amidst wars, economic downturns, displacements, emigration, Depression.

Compared to them, we --- some of us --- just lacked what? Maybe a clear vision of how to pursue marriage and family, and with whom. Maybe the maturity, maybe the capacity to make long-term plans and stop indulging our impulses. Maybe faith, hope, and love.

From what I can see, it's the people with faith, hope, and love who are still having families, God bless them. And they live in the same "world today" that we do.

21 posted on 01/04/2013 6:23:37 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("You can observe a lot just by watchin'." - Yogi Berra)
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To: Mrs. Don-o; Persevero

“[T]he whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new dark age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.”


22 posted on 01/04/2013 6:31:34 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: BenLurkin
People had families in the darkest of dark ages. Ten thousand generations back, ten thousand links. Not one of them is missing.

Fear not. The Universe is on the side of life. The Universe, and Him who made it.

23 posted on 01/04/2013 6:43:12 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("You can observe a lot just by watchin'." - Yogi Berra)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Not to worry.

THe barbarians of today are having children like there is no tomorrow.


24 posted on 01/04/2013 6:47:06 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: BenLurkin

“T]he whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new dark age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.””

That is a clear and present danger, BL, but I’ve read the back of the Book. We win.


25 posted on 01/04/2013 7:43:37 PM PST by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: NYer

Communist Obamanation File.


26 posted on 01/04/2013 7:57:28 PM PST by Graewoulf ((Traitor John Roberts' Commune Obama"care" violates Anti-Trust Laws, AND the U.S. Constitution.))
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To: NYer

“The Cause of America’s Declining Birthrate”

Contraceptives. It’s really not much more than that.

Occam’s razor...


27 posted on 01/04/2013 9:11:59 PM PST by Road Glide
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To: BenLurkin; Mrs. Don-o; Road Glide
Not to worry.

THe barbarians of today are having children like there is no tomorrow.

Even the "barbarian" has a vastly declining birth rate, and they don't use birth control nearly as much as we, generally speaking, do.

What hasn't been considered is that the human genetic code is deteriorating, with the accumulation of mutations at an exponential rate, which causes the procreation rate to decrease.

The good note is that, by the grace and providence of Almighty God, strongly believing, born again families still often have a fair amount of children.

28 posted on 01/04/2013 11:33:23 PM PST by Bellflower (The LORD is Holy, separated from all sin, perfect, righteous, high and lifted up.)
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To: Bellflower

“What hasn’t been considered is that the human genetic code is deteriorating, with the accumulation of mutations at an exponential rate, which causes the procreation rate to decrease.”

Interesting comment. The strange thing is that, when confronted with the arguments about the children of Adam and Eve committing incest in order to procreate, I’d always realised that the laws against incest were as a result of sin somewhere down the line having a physical effect on mankind, but my thinking had stopped there. I hadn’t thought about the effects still continuing. And I always considered myself a good thinker!:-)


29 posted on 01/05/2013 8:25:45 AM PST by Diapason
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To: Bellflower; Diapason
Interesting comment about the accumulating effects of genome deterioration; and I think it could be true. It's worth looking into, anyhow. When compared to ancient human DNA samples, are there observable ways in which we have replicated more errors (e.g. copying mistakes) in the past 1,000 or 2,000 years?

Another thing: the world has been beguiled by the spirit of Margaret Sanger. Now, a mere 100 years after she opened her first Birth Control clinic in Brooklyn, people almost uniformly see fertility as a bad thing, and infertile practices (contraception, sodomy, sterilization, lesbianism, induced miscarriages a.k.a. abortions, etc) as good things.

So if people's fertility is getting more and more damaged, that's being covered up by the fact that they're already adopting practices to make themselves infertile, anyhow. They don't notice the slowly accumulating pathologies of infertility, or recognize them as a sign that our sexual physiology is degenerating. They don't worry, the don't care. (Until they hit their mid-30's, try to have a child, and then --- whoa! what happened! I seem to be, um, reproductively disabled!)

I myself think that we're impairing our fertility, across the board, and around the world, with endocrine disruptors. But people aren't reacting to this as a crisis, because 99% people accept infertility as a "normal" sexual state, 99% of the time.

It won't "hit" people that something is in fact drastically wrong, until even IVF doesn't save them. We'll have brought it upon ourselves by our own choices. As it says in Hosea 9:

"No conceptions,
No pregnancies,
No births!
And the offspring you do produce,
You will bring forth to the slayer."


30 posted on 01/05/2013 10:25:21 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o (It must be said, "The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether." - Abraham Lincoln)
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To: BenLurkin

Placenark


31 posted on 01/12/2013 3:49:32 PM PST by little jeremiah (Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. CSLewis)
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To: NYer

Placemark.


32 posted on 01/12/2013 3:50:39 PM PST by little jeremiah (Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. CSLewis)
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