The National Center for Health Statistics, part of the CDC, shared some worrying numbers in a report published on Wednesday this week: the number of babies born in the United States dropped by a whopping 4 percent in 2020, compared to the previous year. It’s part of a trend that has seen the lowest number of births in the country since 1979. In the long-term, this could spell serious issues for the country (or might be beneficial to the planet, depending on your point of view).

And while everyone—from experts to ordinary Americans—appears to have an opinion as to _why_ the birth rates are declining, not all of those reasons apply to everyone equally. So the women of America took to Twitter and explained exactly why they personally aren’t having children and might not want to start a family in the future. They’re refreshingly honest takes on the question.

You’ll find their candid opinions below, so have a read, and let us know what you think, dear Pandas. Remember, this is a sensitive subject with people likely to have very strong opinions both for and against having kids, so let’s all try to keep it civil.

#1

Women-Respond-Low-Birth-Rate-Reports

urlnotfound Report

Gracie Jay
Community Member
1 month ago

This should be higher. So accurate, and I think there are many people in similar situations that feel the same.

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#2

Women-Respond-Low-Birth-Rate-Reports

annehelen Report

Hans
Community Member
1 month ago

You forgot to include the unstable future outlook for the childen-to-be.

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#3

Women-Respond-Low-Birth-Rate-Reports

4ColorCrack Report

Samantha PandaNotBored
Community Member
1 month ago

That’s not “world” thats America .

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According to the National Center for Health Statistics., the US total fertility rate remains far below replacement. “The rate has generally been below replacement since 1971 and has consistently been below replacement since 2007,” they explain.

#4

Women-Respond-Low-Birth-Rate-Reports

MissBGause Report

Hans
Community Member
1 month ago

Them: "Who should sustain our welfare if there are no kids?". Also them: "Do not complain if you leave colleague with a debt, have no parental leave and cannot afford a house."

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#5

Women-Respond-Low-Birth-Rate-Reports

lyta_gold Report

Scagsy
Community Member
1 month ago

Inaccurate. I'm a married man and I frequently get asked when or why we are not having kids. Since we are unable to have kids, it's really depressing being pestered about it all the time.

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#6

Women-Respond-Low-Birth-Rate-Reports

ToriGlass Report

Winx
Community Member
1 month ago

I'll just say that if my mom hadn't felt pressured to have kids I would have had a much better childhood.

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Last year, around 3.6 million babies were born in the United States. Meanwhile, the number of births was found to have fallen across the board, across all ethnicities and origins. What’s more, the birthrate fell in most age groups and failed to go up in any one of them. And while these unborn Americans could be replaced by immigrants from other nations, if we’re talking purely in cold economic terms, that’s another sensitive political discussion that’s been splitting the US in two.

#7

Women-Respond-Low-Birth-Rate-Reports

sinnamarie Report

Iso
Community Member
1 month ago

i mean... we kinda are

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#8

Women-Respond-Low-Birth-Rate-Reports

YuckyTom Report

Marianne
Community Member
1 month ago

"Who cares" is also a question that people who want children ask themselves. And if the answer is "No one cares for my family" then they might not have children.

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#9

Women-Respond-Low-Birth-Rate-Reports

Leahgreenb Report

Terd Fergison
Community Member
1 month ago

And climate change. Species extinction, etc.

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Full disclosure, dear Pandas: this reporter is very pro-people. I come from a fairly large family and I can’t imagine not wanting to have lots and lots of kids (maybe on a ranch somewhere or we could all become amateur detectives in a major city). However, one of my cardinal virtues is the freedom of will. It’s pretty much at the top of my hierarchy of what’s important. So I could never imagine telling somebody that they must or must not have kids, for whatever reasons. It’s down to each and every one of us to decide what we should do for our very own personal reasons.

#10

Women-Respond-Low-Birth-Rate-Reports

HufflepuffLord Report

Winx
Community Member
1 month ago

Correction *more* than your yearly rent

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#11

Women-Respond-Low-Birth-Rate-Reports

uncivilobedient Report

Valisbourne Spiritforge
Community Member
1 month ago

Let's not forget about inflation on top of those stagnant wages

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#12

Women-Respond-Low-Birth-Rate-Reports

tanzinavega Report

Abby Not Normal
Community Member
1 month ago

Godexx forbid we have paid parental leave like nearly every other industrialized nation on earth.

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And while the human race has its fair share of problems, from the mundane and irritating to the downright devastating, it’s also full of light. Not to sound too childish, but I like people. So the fact that there are fewer people being born than in previous years means there’s a bit less potential awesomeness and creativity in the world. But, hey, your point of view might be different—and I’m perfectly fine with that.

#13

Women-Respond-Low-Birth-Rate-Reports

Lollerwaffle Report

Cynthia Bonville
Community Member
1 month ago

Yup. We are poor because we had kids - because to nurse them it is impossible to work and then kids get sick, a lot, which means someone has to be home with them - we have minimal sick leave and this makes working and having a child impossible. So one of us is home (me), BUT as a biologist/biochemist who understands evolution I also understand this artificial bottleneck in our population is a genetic opportunity. We're financially poor, deliberately, but banking on generational (non-economic) wealth. There is rich and there is rich, we have a rich life and we also get to go extreme minimal on our taxing the earth (our household is carbon neutral for eg) and we have kids. We'll never be middle class (rich to me), but maybe that's okay, IDK.

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#14

Women-Respond-Low-Birth-Rate-Reports

BVJoehnk Report

Jaclyn Levy
Community Member
1 month ago

This!!!

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#15

Women-Respond-Low-Birth-Rate-Reports

ElyKreimendahl Report

Lady Artemis
Community Member
1 month ago

DUH

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While it’s everyone’s individual choice whether to have children, when we zoom out to the macro scale, there are potentially disastrous implications to society. Simply put, society can’t function without people. Without them, you don’t have a strong country: you have fewer innovators and friendly neighbors willing to lend a helping hand. You simply have a mass of land with very few things going on there.

#16

Women-Respond-Low-Birth-Rate-Reports

JessLeeEsq Report

Scagsy
Community Member
1 month ago

I know exactly how that feels. And it isn't good.

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#17

Women-Respond-Low-Birth-Rate-Reports

Adalis Report

Jane Martin
Community Member
1 month ago

$13k is just a yearly daycare bill in our household.

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#18

Women-Respond-Low-Birth-Rate-Reports

hideflen Report

C.S. E.
Community Member
1 month ago

You also have the right to ask them why they are so concerned with what goes on in your crotchal region. Those are the same types of people who are overly concerned with the genitals of said child (not in a pedo way, just 'is it a girl or a boy'). Of course, that invites more conversation. A good 'none of your fu***** business' is an acceptable answer, too. Just be sure to yell it really loudly and make them uncomfortable. I highly suggest Naruto running the other way after yelling it, maybe throw and iced coffee on them for good measure. Maybe they'll think twice or at least spread it around that you're crazy. Fewer questions.

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So, dear Readers, what do you think about this difficult topic? What’s your view about the declining birth rate in the US and the reasons people give for not wanting children? Do you think that there should be fewer people on Planet Earth or does the problem lie not in the number of people but in our lifestyles and how we view the environment? Share your thoughts below.

#19

Women-Respond-Low-Birth-Rate-Reports

DrDFox1 Report

Arthur Waite
Community Member
1 month ago

Gotta ask about the text-censorship in this post. One word largely blacked-out, then the same(?) word not blacked out. Is this a human error, or machine error, or just an overall bad idea?

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#20

Women-Respond-Low-Birth-Rate-Reports

TelstarMan Report

Terd Fergison
Community Member
1 month ago

For f-u-c-king real.

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#21

Women-Respond-Low-Birth-Rate-Reports

_preetysidhu Report

Brandy Grote
Community Member
1 month ago

This.

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#22

Women-Respond-Low-Birth-Rate-Reports

AlexesJohnson Report

Raven Sheridan
Community Member
1 month ago

Kidnapping. The third option. (Although I wouldn't recommend it.)

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#23

Women-Respond-Low-Birth-Rate-Reports

morninggloria Report

C.S. E.
Community Member
1 month ago

Actually, it WILL maim you permanently. Some get away with small, easy to ignore problems, but that little parasite will leave you with some permanent damage that you will then be routinely ignored or gaslit for. And make no mistake, a fetus may not be a parasite in it's full definition, but it is absolutely parasitic on the host's body.

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#24

Women-Respond-Low-Birth-Rate-Reports

jordanzakarin Report

Readingstarwiz
Community Member
1 month ago

because👏 we👏 are👏 broke👏

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#25

Women-Respond-Low-Birth-Rate-Reports

Acliz12 Report

Raven Sheridan
Community Member
1 month ago

It's called the American Dream, because it's just that, a dream.

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#26

Women-Respond-Low-Birth-Rate-Reports

powerchowder69 Report

Terd Fergison
Community Member
1 month ago

I concur.

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#27

Women-Respond-Low-Birth-Rate-Reports

WelshKthrn Report

#28

Women-Respond-Low-Birth-Rate-Reports

shannon_last Report

Ronna Stefan
Community Member
1 month ago

It's not counterintuitive at all. This relationship is well-known. Education and privilege mean more choice, general, and given real choices in life, women in almost all cultures will choose to have fewer children.

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#29

Women-Respond-Low-Birth-Rate-Reports

anitasunshiine Report

Miriam L
Community Member
1 month ago

This

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#30

Women-Respond-Low-Birth-Rate-Reports

SaraJacobsCA Report

elStiJneriNO
Community Member
1 month ago

well most parents are doing the "counting on a lot of people to not have kids and make the world a better place in a generation"

Note: this post originally had 47 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.