How the modern U.S. family size is changing, in four charts and a map

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  perrie-halpern  •  2 weeks ago  •  54 comments

By:   Aria Bendix and Joe Murphy

How the modern U.S. family size is changing, in four charts and a map
An analysis of fertility data shows how the modern U.S. family has evolved over time: On average, people are delaying parenthood and having fewer kids.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Families are smaller and people are waiting longer to have children than in years past, according to an NBC News analysis of data released this week by the National Center for Health Statistics.

The U.S. teen birth rate hit a record low in 2019, the NCHS report shows, with fewer than 1.7 births per 100 teen girls ages 15 to 19. The teen birth rate has fallen sharply since 2007 amid a decadeslong pattern of decline, according to the report, but it's still higher than the rates in many other high-income countries.


A declining fertility rate


The number of live births per 100 women aged 15 to 44 in the United States


A line chart showing the U.S. fertility rate — the number of live births per 100 women of childbearing age — per year from 1910 to 2021. In 1910 the fertility rate was high, at 13 births per 100, it then dipped in the 1930s, bumped up again in the 1950s and 1960s, and has since then largely declined. The most recent figure puts it at 6 births per 100 women.


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The overall fertility rate in the U.S. declined from 2015 to 2020, additional NCHS data shows, reaching a low of fewer than 6 births per 100 women ages 15 to 44. (The rate then rose 1% from 2020 to 2021, though the overall trend still faces downward.)

The U.S. birth rate — the number of births per 1,000 women — declined from 2018 to 2019 among women in their 20s and early 30s but increased among women ages 35 to 44, the report showed.

The data also revealed that from 2015 to 2019, 24 was the average age at which a woman gave birth to her first child, while the average man had his first at 27. In previous years, those averages were 23 for women and 25 for men.

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Sociologists pointed to a few factors that may explain these trends. One is that contraception has become more reliable, while another is that people are getting married later in life, and most births in the U.S. still happen within marriage.

"People are waiting to have kids until they feel ready, they've got a good job, they feel mature enough to devote themselves to parenting, they feel like they're going to have a good partner," said Karen Benjamin Guzzo, director of the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Another possible — though less influential — factor is medically assisted reproduction techniques, such as in vitro fertilization, which are helping some people have kids at older ages (primarily those with high incomes or coverage of the service as a benefit through their employer).

On average, people in the U.S. are also choosing to have fewer children, according to the NCHS report: In 2018, the average woman had around one biological child, compared to more than three in 1960.

The size of the average U.S. family — defined as people related by birth, marriage or adoption who live together — is now around three people, down from almost four in 1960.

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Sociologists suggested these trends may be attributed, in large part, to financial concerns.

"The economic downturn of 2007-2008 really made people go, 'Wow, having a kid is a big commitment and expensive,'" said Julia McQuillan, a sociology professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Guzzo said birth rates never fully recovered after the Great Recession, likely due to factors such as student loan debt, high housing prices and a shortage of full-time jobs. Child care costs and a lack of family leave may also lead people to postpone having kids or opt out of parenthood altogether, she said.

"The United States doesn't have paid family leave. We have a really shaky child care system, as the pandemic pointed out. We don't have sick leave for most people. So there's a lot of things to consider before you decide to have kids in this environment," Guzzo said.

Fertility rates vary by region, though: States in the central U.S. have higher rates than in other parts of the country.

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However, the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, and the new abortion restrictions that have followed in many states, could influence U.S. fertility trends in the future, according to Michael Rendall, director of the Maryland Population Research Center.

"It could be that the overturning of Roe v. Wade will act against the continued decline in birth rate," he said.


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SteevieGee
Masters Silent
1  SteevieGee    2 weeks ago

There are way too many people right now.  Any trend toward global zpg is good for the Earth and all of her inhabitants.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
1.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  SteevieGee @1    2 weeks ago
ny trend toward global zpg is good for the Earth and all of her inhabitants.

Not if you think things like social security and Medicare are good things.

 
 
 
SteevieGee
Masters Silent
1.1.1  SteevieGee  replied to  Sean Treacy @1.1    2 weeks ago

The concept of economies continually expanding for ever and ever until the end of time is ridiculous and unsustainable.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
1.1.2  Sean Treacy  replied to  SteevieGee @1.1.1    2 weeks ago
nomies continually expanding for ever and ever until the end of time is ridiculous and unsustainable.

Good thing our entire economy isn't premised on that than.  I'm sure our mass Borrowing and entitlements built like a pyramid will all handle a shrinking economy and working base without collapsing.  

 
 
 
SteevieGee
Masters Silent
1.1.3  SteevieGee  replied to  Sean Treacy @1.1.2    2 weeks ago

When capitalism collapses all other creatures on the planet will rejoice!

 
 
 
magicschoolbusdropout
Sophomore Principal
1.1.4  magicschoolbusdropout  replied to  SteevieGee @1.1.3    2 weeks ago

"Other Creatures"...go by the "Survival of the Fittest" rules. 

Even within their own species, they let the weak perish. Better for the clan, pride, etc.... to thrive !

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
1.1.5  Sean Treacy  replied to  SteevieGee @1.1.3    2 weeks ago
[deleted]
 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
1.1.6  bbl-1  replied to  SteevieGee @1.1.3    2 weeks ago

Capitalism is dead.  Murdered by Supply Side Economics.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Sophomore Principal
1.1.7  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  bbl-1 @1.1.6    2 weeks ago

Good riddance, eh?

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.2  devangelical  replied to  SteevieGee @1    2 weeks ago

I have 3 kids, none planned. I guess that makes me an over achiever.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
1.2.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  devangelical @1.2    2 weeks ago

I don't think any kid is ever really planned. When I got pregnant with the first I had been off the pill for a few months but wasn't expecting to get pregnant that quickly. The second one was totally unplanned but he was a nice pleasant surprise

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
1.2.2  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Trout Giggles @1.2.1    2 weeks ago

Mine were totally planned. What was unplanned is having twins.... identical twins, but that was a pleasant surprise. 

I got pregnant in my mid 40's which was unplanned (as the age might imply), but I lost the pregnancy in the 14th week. 

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
1.2.3  Trout Giggles  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1.2.2    2 weeks ago

I'm sorry for your loss. That had to be hard.

We thought about having a third one and there are times I regret we didn't have a third one, but I adore the two I have and am grateful

 
 
 
afrayedknot
Sophomore Quiet
1.2.4  afrayedknot  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1.2.2    2 weeks ago

As were mine. After a decade of trying we were gifted with two sons, in whom we are well pleased.

Our heritage is with mixed races, mixed experiences, mixed expectations but with the commonality of wanting nothing but the best for our family. And that our children will take all our baggage, take it in stride, and do all they can to make this world a better, more accepting place should they be blessed with children of their own. 

And that is the ‘American Dream’

Peace. 

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.2.5  devangelical  replied to  afrayedknot @1.2.4    2 weeks ago

I got married with the understanding that I didn't want kids, but after the hook was set I had no choice. now I can't imagine life without them.

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Silent
2  charger 383    2 weeks ago

"There are way too many people right now.  Any trend toward global zpg is good for the Earth and all of her inhabitants"

Strongly agree

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
3  Vic Eldred    2 weeks ago

That chart is showing what has happened to traditional American families. The millions of people illegally entering the country from the third world are still having large families and that is what will transform this country.

 
 
 
afrayedknot
Sophomore Quiet
3.1  afrayedknot  replied to  Vic Eldred @3    2 weeks ago

“…traditional American families…”

Define that if you please. 

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
3.1.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  afrayedknot @3.1    2 weeks ago

It doesn't exist in 2023 and probably hasn't since about 1990 or so. I raised a "nuclear family" meaning my husband and I replaced ourselves with 2 more people. We started a family in the mid 90's and it wasn't cheap then. I can't imagine what it's like today or maybe I can.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
3.2  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Vic Eldred @3    2 weeks ago

Vic,

The know-nothings would have said the same thing about both Italian and Irish immigrants, you do realize?

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3.3  Kavika   replied to  Vic Eldred @3    2 weeks ago
The millions of people illegally entering the country from the third world are still having large families and that is what will transform this country.

I would imagine that the ancestors of today's legal citizens were from shithole third-world countries, why else would they have left their country that was so great, so we are keeping up with the past. 

More indigenous, Asian, PI's,  brown and black people, the perfect America.

If it wasn't for immigration we would be in the same situation as China, South Korea, Japan and much of Europe.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
4  Trout Giggles    2 weeks ago
"It could be that the overturning of Roe v. Wade will act against the continued decline in birth rate," he said.

That's because women will be forced to carry fetuses to term. May increase the fertility rate but what happens to all those unwanted children?

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
4.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  Trout Giggles @4    2 weeks ago
May increase the fertility rate but what happens to all those unwanted children?

Same thing that's happened since the beginning of time.  They get adopted. Or there parents change their mind  once they hold the baby arrives,  Some times its the other way around.  Circumstances and feelings change.   No ones feelings are locked into place.    At the end of the day, the overwhelming majority will grow up normally. . 

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
4.1.1  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Sean Treacy @4.1    2 weeks ago

Sean,

Abortion is as old as the western world. I see no reason why women should be forced into a pregnancy and deliver a child that they never wanted in the first place. 

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
4.1.2  Trout Giggles  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @4.1.1    2 weeks ago

Hit me with a ticket. I should not have brought up this sticky subject.

 
 
 
magicschoolbusdropout
Sophomore Principal
4.1.3  magicschoolbusdropout  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @4.1.1    2 weeks ago

I see No reason why a women should NOT "Force" a partner" to use protection, so she doesn't get pregnant with a child she doesn't want, nor do I know a reason why a "Partner" wouldn't force either themselves or the other, to have protection so the one they are "With" doesn't have a pregnancy neither of them "Want" in the first place !

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
4.1.4  Sean Treacy  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @4.1.1    2 weeks ago
see no reason why women should be forced into a pregnancy and deliver a child that they never wanted in the first place. 

Than convince everyone to support abortion until birth if that's what you want.  

Under your rationale, if a woman decides at 8 months she doesn't want the child, "you can't see a reason" why she should be forced to deliver a child. 

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
4.1.5  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Trout Giggles @4.1.2    2 weeks ago

Nah... I don't mind drifting slightly off topic.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
4.1.6  devangelical  replied to  Trout Giggles @4.1.2    2 weeks ago

every time you mention abortion I hear thumping and smell mackerel...

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
4.1.7  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  magicschoolbusdropout @4.1.3    2 weeks ago

I'm not clear on what you are trying to say? Are you saying that protection is on the individual and not their partner?

 
 
 
magicschoolbusdropout
Sophomore Principal
4.1.8  magicschoolbusdropout  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @4.1.7    2 weeks ago
Are you saying that protection is on the individual and not their partner?

Nope.

Posting "either themselves or the other, and the words, neither of them" would mean ..... Both ?

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Silent
4.1.9  charger 383  replied to  Sean Treacy @4.1.4    2 weeks ago

Do you want to pay her for 24 hours a day for a month at overtime rates to support your rational?  If not it should be no concern to anybody else 

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
4.1.10  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Sean Treacy @4.1.4    2 weeks ago
Than convince everyone to support abortion until birth if that's what you want.  

You have a unique way of taking things to the extreme, to try and make a point. Most women have abortions in the first 12 weeks. 

Under your rationale, if a woman decides at 8 months she doesn't want the child, "you can't see a reason" why she should be forced to deliver a child. 

No that is not my rationale and you know that from previous discussions and my post above.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
4.1.11  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  charger 383 @4.1.9    2 weeks ago

Exactly! 

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
4.1.12  Trout Giggles  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @4.1.5    2 weeks ago

Ok...this will get me that ticket...every time I bring up the subject the worst characters show up

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
4.1.13  Trout Giggles  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @4.1.10    2 weeks ago

See? The worst come charging in and then start making shit up!

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
4.1.14  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  magicschoolbusdropout @4.1.8    2 weeks ago

HUH?

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
4.1.15  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Trout Giggles @4.1.13    2 weeks ago
See? The worst come charging in and then start making shit up!

Well, that's not on you... and I wouldn't mind an honest discussion. I just don't like it when people know my position and then twist it.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
4.1.16  Trout Giggles  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @4.1.15    2 weeks ago

I don't think it's possible to have an honest discussion anymore

 
 
 
magicschoolbusdropout
Sophomore Principal
4.1.17  magicschoolbusdropout  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @4.1.14    2 weeks ago
HUH?

Okay. 

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
4.1.18  Sean Treacy  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @4.1.10    2 weeks ago
ique way of taking things to the extreme, to try and make a point

I'm pointing out the logic your argument rests on. If it's extreme, its because your argument is extreme. 

Most women have abortions in the first 12 weeks. 

So?  You just said there's no reason a woman should has to deliver a baby if she doesn't want to. That applies equally at nine months at 4 weeks. 

o that is not my rationale a

So you can think of a reason a woman should  deliver a child she doesn't want. 

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
4.1.19  Sean Treacy  replied to  charger 383 @4.1.9    2 weeks ago
to pay her for 24 hours a day for a month at overtime rates to support your rational?  I

What does that even mean? 

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
4.1.20  Sean Treacy  replied to  Trout Giggles @4.1.16    2 weeks ago

[Deleted]

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
4.1.21  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Sean Treacy @4.1.18    2 weeks ago
I'm pointing out the logic your argument rests on. If it's extreme, its because your argument is extreme. 

My argument is that abortion should be legal to a point and you know that.

You just said there's no reason a woman should has to deliver a baby if she doesn't want to. That applies equally at nine months at 4 weeks. 

Again, 10 years later, and I have never advocated for aborting babies, which is what a 9-month-old fetus is.

So you can think of a reason a woman should  deliver a child she doesn't want. 

Yeah, pretty much after about 16 weeks, unless there is a danger to her health.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
4.1.22  Sean Treacy  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @4.1.21    2 weeks ago
is that abortion should be legal to a point and you know that.

I know that's been your position, which is why your claim in 4.1.1 was worth commenting on. It's not consistent with that claim. 

eah, pretty much after about 16 weeks, unless there is a danger to her health.

Okay, that's different than the absolutist position you took above. 

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
4.1.23  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Sean Treacy @4.1.22    2 weeks ago

Sean,

I didn't take an absolutionist opinion. You read something more into what I said, after years of always having the same position.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
4.1.24  Trout Giggles  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @4.1.23    2 weeks ago

Don't you just love flimsy strawmen? I think I'll play Wicked Witch of the West today

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Silent
4.1.25  charger 383  replied to  Sean Treacy @4.1.19    2 weeks ago

That means those who want to force the woman to continue being pregnant when she does not want to could pay her 24 hours a day or they could tend tp their own business

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
4.1.26  Sean Treacy  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @4.1.23    2 weeks ago
I didn't take an absolutionist opinion.

I took what you wrote at face value.   Your original statement that you can't even think of a reason why a women should ever have to give birth if they don't want to is the definition of an an absolutist opinion. 

Peoples opinions change and the pro choice side has gotten very extreme, very fast. Its not shocking to think you've changed yours. .  No limits abortion is quickly becoming the de facto democratic position.  I doubt you'll ever see a Democratic nominee who publicly supports any limits on abortion ever again.

.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
4.1.27  Sean Treacy  replied to  charger 383 @4.1.25    2 weeks ago

No, I  don't think women have the right to an abortion up until birth. 

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Silent
4.1.28  charger 383  replied to  Sean Treacy @4.1.27    2 weeks ago

why not? 

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
4.1.29  Sean Treacy  replied to  charger 383 @4.1.28    2 weeks ago

I don't believe in the intentional  taking of innocent human life. 

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
4.1.30  bbl-1  replied to  charger 383 @4.1.28    2 weeks ago

Roe was 22 weeks.  ST spouted a scenario that never legally existed.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
4.1.31  Sean Treacy  replied to  bbl-1 @4.1.30    2 weeks ago

It exists today.

Roe didn't prohibit any abortions.

 
 

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