Students React to Decline in Fertility Rates

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A study conducted by the Pew Research Center shows fertility rates in the United States are experiencing a rapid decrease due to delayed marriage and economic instability. Chapman students discussed these factors and their own thoughts about the right time to start a family.



According to an article by The New York Times, 36 percent of women say having children early in their career allows them to work toward a top executive position in their career as their children grow up. However, 40 percent say it’s better for a woman to hold off on having children until she is more established in her career.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the total fertility rate of 2017 at an average of 1.77 births per woman. For women over the age of 40, the fertility rate has increased, as the majority of women have decided to wait until they are over the age of thirty to bear children.



Students at Chapman analyzed their reasons for why they would wait to have children, ranging from their future marriages to financial stability.

“I would have to be married and financially stable,” said David Harned, senior business major. “I wouldn’t want to raise a child without some financial backing.”

A study on the demographics of infertility by Ledger WL, from the University of Sheffield’s Academic Unit of Reproductive and Developmental Medicine, said the increased cost of living and of raising children deters couples from starting families until later in life.

Students agreed it is important to have a solid amount of funds before having a child. Most said that financial stability should come into place before taking on the responsibility of another human.

“I personally would postpone having a child before the age of 30 to accumulate wealth,” said Eric Cho, sophomore business real estate major. “The most irresponsible thing a couple can do is have a child without a plan.”

Sabrina Burkholder, freshman biology major, believes the reason women are having children later or even not at all is because bearing children takes away one’s freedom.

Talia Kaufmann, sophomore English major agreed.

“I want to have been with their father and enjoy time with him for a good amount of time free of responsibility and stress before we bring someone else into our life together,” said Kaufmann.

Students said they needed sense of self, financial stability, and their significant other to align with their decision to have a child.

Greta Nagy & Lauren Thomas

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