If you’ve seen the news recently, you might have noticed reports from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about declining fertility in the United States. Last year, the total number of U.S. births fell to its lowest level in 30 years. Should we be worried, and why is the number dropping? Our Dallas fertility doctors explain what you need to know.
The facts about declining fertility in our country
The CDC started keeping records of the general fertility rate in 1909, and recent reports show declining fertility in America. The total number of births last year was 60.3 births per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44.
As for the total fertility rate, which is the average number of children a woman could have in her lifetime, that number is 1.76 births per woman. This is below the replacement rate for fertility, or the level that keeps the population stable, which is 2.1 children per woman. If these numbers don’t increase, the United States could experience a population decline.
So, what is causing our country’s fertility to drop? Our Dallas fertility doctors and other experts in the field believe that more than one factor is at play.
- Women having children later in life. More women are waiting to become mothers because they want to focus on their careers, education and finding the right partner. In fact, the average age of a woman when she first gave birth was 24 in the 1980s. Today, that age is 26.3. Female fertility declines over time, so it’s important to note that the longer a woman waits to start a family, the more likely it is that she will experience fertility issues.
- The recent recession. Although unemployment is improving, many people are still feeling the effects of the recent recession. Researchers have found that high unemployment reduces the rate of childbirth of women in their early-20s. This effect continues to the age of 40 for these women.
This information might paint a bleak picture of declining fertility, but there is good news. The United States still has a higher total fertility rate than many European countries, including Spain and Germany. As a result, it appears that the United States isn’t in immediate danger of experiencing a massive population decline.
Find help from Dallas IVF if you’re experiencing a decline in fertility
Whether you’re struggling to conceive due to a reduced egg supply, ovulatory issues or other causes of infertility, our Dallas fertility doctors can help you. Contact us for an appointment to learn more.