American Women Are Having Fewer Babies Than Ever Before

Kelsey Clark

As it turns out, English and Welsh women aren't the only ones holding off on having children. According to newly released quarterly birthrate data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American women are on track to have the fewest number of babies since the year 1909. 

This figure is based on the fertility rate, or the number of of babies born per 1000 women aged 15 to 44. In the first quarter of 2016, there were just 59.8 births per every 1000 women, or fewer than six babies born for every 100 women on average. According to ABC news, this downward trend in birthrates has been nascent since 2007. 

"The good news is that infertility treatment has allowed women to extend the age of child birthing, going along with a lot of trends we are seeing in increasing age of marriage, increasing education levels, and increasing labor force participation," said Donna Strobino, professor of population, family, and reproductive health at Johns Hopkins University. "The bad news is the complications associated with aging that have to do with an increase in chronic diseases as women age, increase in pregnancy-induced complications and increase in complications for the fetus and newborn."

These findings also point to a newfound sense of autonomy women have in their day-to-day lives. As more and more women continue to prioritize their career over having kids, this massive cultural shift has made family planning even more top-of-mind. This is evidenced in the sheer amount of birth control methods and fertility apps that are now becoming the norm.

How do you practice family planning? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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