Why America’s Birthrate Is in Decline


In 1960, the birthrate in America was 3.65, meaning most women had between three and four kids. Fast forward to 2000, and the birthrate had fallen to 2.06. As of 2020, the birthrate was 1.6, meaning women now have between one and two children. 

Factors such as the economy, changes in cultural priorities, and political agendas can all be cited as reasons for the decline in childbirths, but practically speaking, a source of the decline is not that women are having fewer children, but that more women are having no children. 

In a recent article for JP, Brenda Hafera, assistant director and senior policy analyst for the Center for American Studies at The Heritage Foundation, cited findings from data scientist Stephen J. Shaw highlighted in the documentary “Birthgap.” (The Daily Signal is the news and commentary site of The Heritage Foundation.)

According to Shaw, the number of women who have no children has increased significantly in recent years. Equally as sobering is the fact that Shaw says about 80% of these childless women wanted to have children but either never found a man they wanted to start a family with or their biological clock ran out of time. Hafera writes that these are women who “were caught unawares, had been poorly educated about female fertility, and thought they had more time.” 

But according to Emma Waters, Heritage Foundation research associate for in the Center for Life, Religion, and Family, some are celebrating the decline in babies born. 

Sarah Harper is an adviser to the World Economic Forum and directs the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing. Harper recently said, “I think it’s a good thing that the high-income, high-consuming countries of the world are reducing the number of children that they’re having,” OutKick reported. 

Waters and Hafera join the “Problematic Women” podcast to discuss the factors affecting a decline in America’s birthrate, share the implications of the decline on society, and explain why some on the political Left herald declining birthrates as a societal good. 

Also on today’s show, we break down the “trad wives” trend—short for “traditional wives”—and how trad wives might have accidentally embraced one of the most harmful characteristics of the feminist movement. And as always, we’ll be crowning our problematic woman of the week!

Listen to the podcast below or read the lightly edited transcript:

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