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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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