US Fertility Rate is Will Not Replace Population
Today, an article from CNN titled ‘US fertility rate is below level needed to replace population’ presents the finding of a National Center for Health Statistics’ study as follows:
“In 2017, among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, total fertility rates ranged from a rate of 2,227.5 births per 1,000 women in South Dakota to 1,421 per 1,000 women in DC -- that's a difference of 57%, according to the report published on Thursday. Overall, the total fertility rate for the United States in 2017 was 1,765.5 per 1,000 women, which was 16% below what is considered the level needed for a population to replace itself: 2,100 births per 1,000 women, according to the report.”
Interestingly, only two states are producing children at a rate of sustainability.
The researchers found that South Dakota, with a rate of 2,227.5, and Utah, with a rate of 2,120.5, were the only states with a total fertility rate above replacement level in 2017.
This is not a surprising trend, Dr. Georges Benjamin, the executive director of the American Public Health Association, is cited stating: “We have been seeing fertility rates go down, and I think it has a lot to do with women and men, couples, in particular, having much more control over their reproductive lives.”
This study seems to reflect an issue in our culture. The inclination of many is to abandon the family or to delay the development of the family in pursuit of independent existence. Now that preventative measures have been implemented, the option not to have a family is possible. You can have all of the benefits of a relationship without the responsibility, but as we are beginning to see, such has consequences.
Christian culture has always put tremendous weight on the benefit of having a family and has fought against things like abortion as a means of fostering reproductive control, but the fight for the family is failing. In a world where independence trumps the ambition of fatherhood or motherhood, the society breaks down. You and I have a part to play. At one level, we should showcase the benefit of the family and support those that are committed to human flourishing within the confines of a healthy family dynamic. At another level, we should have families! This statistic shows the affects of the current societal perception of the family and it is not good. A central element of the gospel is to love as you have been loved by Jesus, what better way can you show the love of Jesus then by sacrificially raising up children and supporting the family in your context (John 13:34)?
Caleb Russell Jacobs (BS, Liberty University; MDiv, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is the host of The Basic Bible Podcast and writes at www.webasicbible.org.
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