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The number of births in the United States continues to decline, repeating a decades-long trend, as Nearly half of American women under the age of 45 are childless, according to a new study.
Some 52% of women between the ages of 15 and 44 gave birth between 2015 and 2019, a drop from nearly 55% in the previous four-year period.according to the study released Tuesday by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.
The number of biological parents in the same age range also dropped. From 2015 to 2019, around 40% of men had fathered a childcompared to around 44% between 2011 and 2015.
The number of babies each woman is delivering has also declined, and more and more women are postponing childbearing until later in life.
On average, American women had just 1.3 children in 2019, the latest year of data included in the report. For men, that number was just 0.9 children.
The study authors attribute several reasons for the trends, including women earning higher levels of education as well as longer and longer career paths.
The authors cited changing family values, financial concerns, improved access to contraception, and relationship instability as additional reasons.
The number of women having their first child at age 35 or older increased in 2019, continuing previous trends. Between 1972 and 2021, the number increased ninefold, according to the report.
The delay in childbearing has had a positive impact on women, but it may have fertility problems, according to the report.
“Having a first child at later ages has been associated with a positive impact on women’s wages and career paths, as well as having a positive impact on their children because they are more likely to have parents with greater family and financial stability,” the authors wrote.
“A possible negative consequence of delayed childbearing is that women try to have children when their fertility (ability to have children) is declining.”
The study also found that out-of-wedlock births have also increased.
By 2019, about half of the first births occurred before marriage, and half of them were between couples living together.
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