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Why Are Fewer Babies Being Born Than Ever Before?

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The amount of women with infants is the lowest it has ever been in the history of the United States.

The news comes from a CDC report, and showed that the general fertility rate (which measures reproduction, not the ability to reproduce, so don’t worry) is the lowest ever. The fertility rate has been tracked since 1909, and information shows that the rate has dropped over 10 percent just from 2007 to 2016.

But just what is causing this shift?

Last year, Catherine Rampell wrote an article for the Washington Post that pointed out the trend of millennial women opting to either not have children, or have a small number of children, due to the economy. Between 2007 to 2012, after the “Great Recession,” birth rates for women in their 20s fell more than 15 percent.

The economy might not be the only thing causing this, though. Following the trend that more millennials are living at home, it's indicative that many young women and couples are trying to get their lives in order: finances, careers, and their education.

Though it might sound kind of sad, the lack of childbearing might actually be better for the world. Considering the Earth is “unsustainably full of humans,” it might be something worth celebrating. Your environment is deteriorating, and there is not enough housing or food available for everyone.

The CDC projects that by 2060, the national population will jump from 319 million to 417 million. This is because of the amount of pregnancies among women ages 30 to 44, which are still going up (and are not all part of the millennial group). The rise in older pregnancies is partly due to IVF and other reproductive technology processes that are more readily available now.

And here’s the thing: there’s nothing wrong with millennial women wanting to opt to not have children, or not as many as women who were part of other generations. If young women and couples want to settle down and work on themselves, they should be granted that right without any backlash.

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