by Jonathan Abbamonte, Population Research Institute
For decades, Americans have not been having enough births to replace themselves. Fertility in the U.S. has been below the replacement rate—roughly 2.1 births woman—since 1972.
The reasons for America’s perennial low birth rate are many. But the among the biggest reasons are the rising costs of child rearing.
Over just the past 20 years alone, the cost of raising a child has skyrocketed by over 40 percent. Moreover, the cost of giving birth in some places can cost as much as a new car, and the price of housing today is now higher than ever before, making it harder for couples to purchase a home for their family.
According to a survey from The New York Times/Morning Consult, the cost of childcare expenses is the number one reason adults cite for not having as many kids as they wished they could have. Also high on the list were concerns about the economy and financial stability as well as concerns about having enough free time to spend with their children or to devote to leisure.
Many parents today are delaying childbearing because they do not feel financially secure enough to take on the additional expenses that another child would bring.