Friday, April 1, 2011

Rant #475: Not Enough ... Well, You Know What I Mean

The National Center For Health Statistics just released a report, and the baby-making business has seemingly gone the way of 8-tracks and videotapes ... well, not quite, but the findings aren't encouraging.

Births fell 4 percent from 2007 to 2009, the largest drop for any two-year period since the mid-1970s, when Zero Population Growth (ZPG) was in vogue.

The rate--66.7 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44--isn't as bad as the 1997 rate, which was at an all-time low of 63.6 per 1,000 women. But that record could be eclipsed via the 2010 findings, say the researchers.

Among the findings of the report are that births fell for all women--except for those 40 years old an older--and that birth rate pushed up the percentage, because the rate for women ages 20 to 24 was the lowest recorded for that age group, 96.3 per 1,000.

I guess ZPG has come back into vogue, because fewer families are having more than two kids. The report found that almost 75 percent of the births in 2009 were first or second births.

Now, you have to ask yourself why this is the way it is.

Well, the economy has a lot to do with it. People simply can't afford to have kids--or more kids--and are waiting until they are more financially stable to have them.

I guess that is pretty obvious.

But what other factors are playing into this?

I think many women are putting their careers before parenthood.

Even though we like to think--because of all the media madness about this--that women can be "superwomen", not only doing their jobs but having children and rearing them too--that just isn't true across the board.

Women are looking at their careers first, motherhood second.

What this means is that we are going to have a graying generation of parents coming up real soon.

It won't be that outlandish to see mothers--and dads for that matter--who have young kids but are themselves in their 50s and 60s.

I don't know if that is good or bad, but I always had the youngest parents on the block, and when I became a teenager, my parents weren't even 40 yet.

Today, women aren't having kids until they are in their 40s.

Hmmm ... pretty strange how things have changed, huh?

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