The total of the nation fertility rate The report found that fertility rates varied widely across states and demographics. Total fertility rates represent the expected number of births for life per 1,000 women, based on current age-specific birth rates.
Only two states – South Dakota and Utah – had fertility rates above replacement levels. The gap between South Dakota, which had the highest rate, and Washington, DC, which had the lowest rate, was 57%. The study examined total fertility rates for 2017 based on 100% of births recorded in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Total fertility rates also vary by race. The study found that Utah had the highest total fertility rate among non-Hispanic white women. Meanwhile, the highest total fertility rate among non-Hispanic black women was in Maine. The study found that for Hispanic women, the highest total fertility rate was in Alabama and the lowest in Vermont and Maine.
In this undated photo, a sleeping baby tightens his parents' fingers.
In general, fertility rates in the United States have decreased and women generally give birth for the first time later in life, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Experts say several factors have contributed to this decline: economic uncertainty, student debt, lack of paid family-leave policy and high cost of child care in many areas, said Dr. Karen Guzzo, Deputy Director of the Center for Family. & Demographic Research at Bowling Green State University.
Guzzo said she was not surprised by the numbers in this report, which reflect a general trend observed in recent years.
"This is basically a continuation of what we saw last year and, in fact, the last two years," said Guzzo. "What is more surprising is that in the long run, we expected that once the Great Recession had disappeared and we would fare much better, fertility rates would begin to rise. increase, and they did not do it. "
She said that the fact that fertility rates have not recovered is an indication of what people think of their current economic situation.
A pregnant woman is in the office of a doctor in this undated photo.
"They have not really recovered as much as we expected, and I think that says a lot about how people feel about their personal lives and their safety." is not only the figures of the world or national economy or GDP, it is: "Can I pay my bills, can I pay my student loans, can I buy a house, my job is it secure? Do I have a strong relationship and can I keep it? "People are therefore going through a lot of uncertainty," she said. "I really think these features have not improved so much in the last 10 years, and that's probably what's happening here."
Still according to Guzzo, it is possible to reverse these numbers and reduce fertility rates to replacement levels. Policies that make college, housing and child care more affordable could go a long way to making this happen, she said.
"The United States can recover from this situation.Many people are slow to have children, but they never say, in the long run it might not be this kind of huge crisis," said Guzzo. "We can do everything in our power to reduce some of the financial insecurity and uncertainty of young adults that would greatly contribute to improving our fertility rates."