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What’s Behind America’s Declining Birth Rate?

Harmony Healthcare IT shared that earlier this year, data from the United States Census Bureau revealed that the American population grew at the slowest rate since the 1930s during the last decade. Researchers from the Brookings Institute also estimate that the U.S. might see as many as 300,000 fewer births this year alone due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

As a healthcare data management firm that has migrated and archived millions of U.S. patient records, we were curious to find out what’s behind America’s birth rate decline and why women are opting to delay or forgo motherhood. We recently surveyed women without children between the ages of 18-51 to ask them about their feelings about starting a family.

Family Planning

According to respondents, 52% say they plan to have children while 17% say they’re “unsure” about starting a family, and nearly one-third (31%) have no plans at all to have a child. These numbers vary considerably among women who are in a relationship compared to single women. Among women who are either married or in a relationship, 59% say they plan to have a child. Among single women, 42% say they will not have a child and 24% say they “aren’t sure.”

According to respondents, there are many reasons why women don’t plan to have children, but finances and careers are at the top. Impact on lifestyle and a lack of freedom was also among the main reasons women say they don’t want to have children.

However, even though 48% of women say they either don’t want children or aren’t sure about having children, 59% of those respondents still say they have felt maternal urges to have children. Nearly half (49%) say their parents or family expect them to have a child, but 45% haven’t told their family that they have no plans to have one.

To read the entire report and view the graphics, click here.

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