read the whole article here.
The latest numbers suggest that an amazingly high percentage of women today—18.8 percent—complete
their childbearing years having had no children. Another 18.5 percent
of women finish having had only one child. Together, that’s nearly 40
percent of Americans who go their entire lives having either one child
or no children at all.
And it's a big change in behavior from the recent past. There have
always been people who lived without having children—either by
happenstance or by choice. But for all of American history, the numbers
of this cohort were fairly small. In 1970, for instance, just about 8 percent
of women completed their childbearing years with no children. (And only
about 11 percent of women finished with only one child.) Over the next
40 years, those numbers rose almost without interruption. (The numbers
ticked backward only once, in 2002.) This dramatic increase in
childlessness—the number more than doubled—took place in just two
generations and came at a time when medical advances were drastically
improving the odds of infertile couples conceiving.
The point of this is that the choices made by folks who decide NOT to have children dramatically alters the expectations and choices of the children who are born. The article relates that in Germany (further along in this trend than America) fully one of every four males believes that being childless is always the preferential option.
The aging of populations is related to the fact that people live longer, to be sure, but it is made even more profound by the growing lack of children within those populations. We are at the cusp of seeing a huge number of boomers head from active full-time employment to retirement and the numbers of active workers whose taxes will enable the retirement and medicare checks to be cashed is in decline. It is a political hot potato but the urgency of this problem grows daily. I posted the unbalance of our clergy toward the pre-retirement years and we have long lamented the declining numbers of children in the church (as well as those outside the church). It is an urgent problem for the Church as well as society in general. It is not merely a statistical issue but the expectations of our children and youth are shaped both by the overt and subtle influences of those around them. I find it even among catechism students. Marriage and children are not the high priorities or life long goals once so commonly expressed by those on the verge of their teen age years.
I am not chicken little and I am not saying the sky is falling but merely pointing out that there are trends here of which we cannot afford to be ignorant...
BTW you want some more statistics to ruminate upon? Try these:
the chief cause of poverty in this country, is the single motherhood, absent fatherhood.
71% of poor families are not married.
Children of single parent homes are 2 times more likely to be arrested for juvenile crime,
2 times more likely be treated for emotional and behavioral problems,
Twice as likely to be suspended or expelled from school,
33% more likely to drop out of school,
3 times more likely to end up in jail by age 30.
50% more likely to live in poverty as adults,
And twice as likely to have a child outside of marriage themselves.