Why isn't America having a baby boom right now?

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  • mimi76 Australia, 00
    Dec. 11, 2017 1:09 p.m.

    Centuries of war ...

  • HousewifeWannabe New York, NY
    Nov. 28, 2017 1:11 a.m.

    Not everyone who wants to have children is married. We can't always make our timelines for our lives a reality, and it's possible that women in their late 20s aren't having children not because they'd rather work but because they haven't found a stable relationship they want to introduce children into.
    I second what everyone else has said about student loans, the need for a college degree to get entry-level jobs, and higher costs of food, housing, and healthcare. This may mean that even when women are in stable relationships they have to work to make ends meet and can't take time off to have kids. Of course you can have kids and work, but then you have daycare costs.
    Instead of increasing immigration, which will increase competition for jobs and demand (and price) for housing, the government should work to lower the cost of healthcare and incentivize house building (greater supply=lower prices).

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    Nov. 27, 2017 5:42 p.m.

    "kids these days" gets you're dander up? I blame their raising myself.

    That said? Used to be that a high-school drop-out could get a respectable middle class job, his wife didn't need to work, and he got a pension to boot. Now you can't even get a 401(k) kick-in without a college degree, both parents have to work, and your nosy neighbors will call the cops if you leave your kids playing in the front yard for five minutes.

    Y'all broke the world. And then you complain that we're being *too* careful?

  • JRL in AZ Tucson, AZ
    Nov. 27, 2017 3:08 p.m.

    I have to admit that I am biased in this debate. I get my dander up rather easily when people start listing "prerequisites" to having children. My parents never met anyone's definition of being ready to have children, whether you call it stuff or stability - at least, not until all the kids had already come. They did not pay for our college; we didn't have dental insurance or maybe even medical insurance for much of my growing-up years; I have no idea how much retirement savings they have. Many family members criticized them for having children. But we thrived. We did receive public assistance once - when my dad broke his ankle and was out of work for 6 months. All 11 of their kids are stable, contributing members of society. And so, without all of the "prerequisites," they have had a very full life, where lots of people would have said it was impossible or irresponsible. So I say humbug to it all. This is simply a matter of priorities. If "stability" is your priority, then seek it. I just hope that you are as happy with it as you expect to be. To all the young couples out there hearing that they can't possibly start a family yet, I say you can. And you should if you want to.

  • Husker2 Millbrook, AL
    Nov. 27, 2017 2:56 p.m.

    I think it's a combination of what people are saying in their posts. The costs of housing, education, and health care are definitely much higher in relation to income than they were 30 years ago.

    That said, I see young 20-somethings looking at what they call "starter homes" that are in the $300,000 area. That is not a starter home. Too many young couples want to start with "toys" and possessions that it took their parents several decades of hard work to acquire. I know young couples that claim they can't afford to have kids, yet they drive very nice cars, go on cruises, buy boats and ATVs, and have every high-tech gadget available. The truth is they can afford kids if they re-examine their spending and stop trying to impress their neighbors.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    Nov. 27, 2017 12:22 p.m.

    I'm not sure we're prioritizing "stuff" over kids. We're making *stability*, in finances and home, a prerequisite. So needing a college degree for entry level positions, the ever-escalating coat of healthcare and insurance, student loans, home prices... Stability is expensive. Especially if you don't want to repeat your parent's mistakes.

  • JRL in AZ Tucson, AZ
    Nov. 27, 2017 11:28 a.m.

    I should clarify - I am not blaming people for not having children. That is up to each couple to decide. What I do have a problem with is people telling youngsters that they shouldn't have children because they need "stuff" first. That is backwards. I think children are the best thing in the world, and prioritizing stuff over kids is a recipe for heartache.

  • JRL in AZ Tucson, AZ
    Nov. 27, 2017 11:21 a.m.

    I can tell you why - people believing the lies about what stuff they need to have. We have more stuff than any other group of people ever in the history of the world, and we believe that we need all of it to survive and be happy. That is nonsense. If a person is willing to do without the things that their grandparents did without, they can afford to have babies. But the lies are so often repeated that most people accept them without question.

    Now I know that people are going to start naming things that our grandparents did without, like certain medicine, etc. That is not what I mean. I mean the new cars, endless entertainment options, electronics, prepackaged food, etc., that eat up so much of our budgets but aren't necessary.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    Nov. 27, 2017 10:33 a.m.


    Student loans, saving for a house down-payment, while also caring for my adult "medically complicated" sister.

    Oh, and even when we have a house, we'll have to save up a few more thousand for either adoption or surrogacy costs. Not that adoption would actually help the fertility rate anyway.

    So yeah. We'll probably be late-30s men before we get around to raising children.

    Or to put it another way: I blame the world we inherited.

  • Thomas Jefferson Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 27, 2017 9:36 a.m.

    This economist idea that we can/should just keep growing is silly.

    "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." -Edward Abbey

    We need to stop thinking we can always grow our way to prosperity, particularly when almost all that prosperity just goes to the 1%.

  • Tankeryanker Turlock, CA
    Nov. 26, 2017 2:29 p.m.

    Meh, school loans, proof that we can lose jobs good or bad. High cost of housing. I was raised not to have a child until I was paying on my own home with a steady job and a start to my retirement fund. Lots of luck meeting those BASIC requiremtns. Also, why have kids anyways? There are lots of things to do as an adult and most married people and parents do not look THAT happy anyways.

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 26, 2017 12:56 p.m.

    One of our children told us they do not want to bring a lot of children into the kind of world and society we have now. They are also struggling to pay off student loans, trying to save $ for a down payment on a home, and would want to be more stable even if they decide to have a couple of kids. We are not paying for all of those things for them as we are trying hard to be prepared for retirement years and not be a burden to them in our older years. We are also caring for elderly parents at our end and spending money there. The sandwich generation is as challenging in many respects as the Millennial generation. We have many friends that also have Millennial children back living with them to try and pay off student loans or save for a house, or due to divorce and need help with the kids. There are many raising their grand children due to their children's mental health or substance abuse issues and that is not your retirement dream either.

    We are living in challenging times for every generation and families in general. Everything costs a lot more and wages in most jobs are not going up to keep up with everything that is going up.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 26, 2017 12:44 p.m.

    Wealth and income are increasingly concentrated at the top, a trend that's been going on since Reagan (briefly reduced some during the recession but is right back to levels similar to 2007 and 1928).

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Nov. 26, 2017 10:00 a.m.

    Millenial Snow noted many good reasons why people don't have children anymore, and our current remake to achieve 'greatness' will make many of those conditions much worse.
    Of course, people have the right and are welcome to not have children. So, it stands to reason that if we make it hard for them, they won't do it.
    We could answer this problem with a mini refugee and immigrant boom, and solve our demographic problems with ready made motivated workers and consumers. After all, what we're seeing as a problem here is not a problem beyond our land.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Nov. 26, 2017 9:57 a.m.

    My dad bought a house in Sandy for 23k in the 70's. His starting wage at the telephone company with no college degree was 40k.

    Starting wage at the telephone company for the same job with a degree is 40k but his old house is worth 250k.

    Any questions?

  • Some1outthere Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 26, 2017 9:27 a.m.

    For some it is a conscious choice not to have children. I see this even among the active LDS church members. For some they put off having children until they are on the cusp of their biological clock running out and then cry because they are not able to have children.

    But we also have those who limit themselves to one or two children while there are some who after two or three children are unable to have more children because of health reasons. Personally I wish I was still young enough to bring more children into the world.

  • Millenial Snow Sandy, UT
    Nov. 26, 2017 6:08 a.m.

    Oh I can tell you why.

    I'm a millennial in my early thirties. My husband and I are still paying off student loans.
    We have two small children and retired parents who have health problems and are not totally prepared for retirement. My husband and I are priced out of starter homes by investors and pay over a grand a month for childcare. If I lose my job we will lose our health insurance.

    At every single turn, we are working just as hard but not getting any further along. My income does not stretch as far as my parent's did. Healthcare is more. Education is more. Housing is more.

    The reason Millennials are not having children is because their world is one of instability, debt and an older generation who sucks up retirement but refuses to raise taxes to pay their bills.