Just in time for Valentine's Day (ugh, why can't I seem to get off the Valentine's Day hook this week? forgive me!), demographer Steven Martin analyzes the latest data on childbearing trends among American women. In a briefing paper prepared for the Council on Contemporary Families, Martin explains:
-- Although fertility rose in 2006, we are NOT witnessing the start of another baby boom. But we have reached the level at which the population is reproducing itself without added immigration.
-- Love, baby carriage, and no marriage? Almost all the increase in births was accounted for by non-marital births, although educated women and very rich women, who are more likely to be married, also increased their birth rates.
-- There has been a significant rise in the proportion of 3 and 4 child families among the super-rich, but this is confined to such a small sliver of the population that it does not affect national fertility rates.
-- Women are increasingly delaying childbearing, and the fertility rates of educated and uneducated women seem to be undergoing a slow convergence.
-- Higher birth rates of immigrants account for only a small part of the recent fertility rise.
-- American women are more successful than women in most other industrial countries in being able to pursue higher education and develop careers without foregoing childbearing.
Jeesh. That last one puts things in a little perspective. But still.
(Thanks to CCF for the heads up.)