(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists from Ohio State University found that over the past decades, Americans have not changed the number of children they would like to have, and the decline in fertility is explained by other factors
In 2019, the total fertility rate in the US was 1.71, the lowest level since the 1970s. Scientists have found that this is not due to the unwillingness of Americans to have children, but to the impossibility.
The authors of the study used survey data. They compared the responses of people born in different years and found that women born in 1995-1999 wanted to have an average of 2.1 children aged 20-24.
The same number, 2.2 children, at this age wanted women born in 1965-1969.
Men, on average, wanted and want fewer children than women, but their responses haven’t changed much over the past decades either.
The percentage of people who said they did not plan to have children increased from about 5-8% in the 1960s and 1970s to 8-16% in the 1990s and 2000s.
But in itself this cannot explain the decline in the number of children born.
Scientists believe that people are postponing having children because they are more worried about the future, the economy, medicine and childcare than they were a few decades ago.
For those concerned about America’s falling birth rate, the authors say, this study shows that it’s not necessary to make young people want more children, it’s more important to create the conditions for them.
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