Societal Costs of Record–Low Fertility Rates in Western Nations like the U.S. and Japan
The U.S. fertility rate is below levels at which our population can replace itself, according to a new report from the National Center for Health Statistics. The total U.S. fertility rate in 2017 was 1,765.5 births per 1,000 women—16% below the level necessary for population replacement. The data follow years-long trends of declining fertility rates in America and several Western countries. Joining us to discuss the possible underlying causes for low fertility, and what they mean, is Heidi Nast, a professor at DePaul University. She studies cultures of motherhood, intimacy and reproduction.