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Birth Rates Rise in US

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, preliminary data has shown that birth rate in the United States rose last year by 1% from 2013 which makes it the first increase in the rate of births in seven years.

However, despite what MTV’s Teen Mom might depict, teenagers are not the ones contributing to this increase in babies. In fact, the birth rate of teenagers dropped by 9% in 2014 compared with 2013 and have been continuously declining since 1991. In fact, the rate of unmarried women also declined by 1%, so it has been women in their 30s and 40s that have been having more and more children every year.

For experts in the field, the increased birthrate is actually a surprise. They had suspected that that there would at one point be a decline in birthrates since the nation’s economy affected birthrates significantly in 2007 as people avoided having children due to the floundering economy.

However, having children can actually be really good a country. When a demographic around the same age is growing, it allows for a nation to have more people of working age, which means more people earning, spending and contributing taxes which lends itself to investments in social services and infrastructure which can allow a nation to grow.

At the same time, some experts suggest that a modest population decline can actually help to improve standards of living. A global study from the East-West Center in Hawaii and the University of California, Berkeley announced in 2014 that in countries like the United States and Europe, it can actually be better for there to be fewer births. Although a higher population helps to fund the tax base that funds pensions and healthcare of the elderly, the financial responsibility of raising the children ultimately falls on the family. The study suggested that governments should focus more on adjusting their policies to accommodate aging populations.

So is the increased birth rate really a good thing? Only time will tell. But the increase is not too much to be upset over and nothing too crazy that it would drastically change the economy any time soon.

About Emily Hersey

Emily Hersey
Emily is an African Studies and History student who loves reading, the gym, hip hop and horses. If she's not working on her latest research project, she's definitely working towards her next trip to South Africa and doing her Master's degree there. Contact Emily: emily.hersey@youthindependent.com