Fewer and Fewer Iowans are Having Kids
You've probably run into people in your life -- particularly millennials -- who say they either don't want to have kids or have had issues with conceiving.
According to a Pew Research study,
Some 44% of non-parents ages 18 to 49 say it is not too or not at all likely that they will have children someday, an increase of 7 percentage points from the 37% who said the same in a 2018 survey. Meanwhile, 74% of adults younger than 50 who are already parents say they are unlikely to have more kids, virtually unchanged since 2018.
In regards to fertility, FertilitySA.com said in 2018 that the rates have dropped due to three things.
1. The societal shift in having children later in life
"While the age at which people are having children is increasing, the biology of conception hasn’t changed, and the chances of conception for women decrease quickly after 35."
2. Our environment
"A recently released 38-year study also showed that sperm count has declined significantly since the 1970s, which suggests both environmental and lifestyle factors."
3. Lifestyle factors
"Smoking and being either over-weight or significantly under-weight are known to have the biggest impact on fertility and the chances of conception."
These trends don't skip over the Hawkeye State, either.
For the sixth year in a row, Iowa birth rates were down in 2020. In fact, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health, they were the lowest the state has seen since 1915 -- just 36,058 babies were born.
Though that is clearly a significant statistic, there were likely factors involving the drop. Per Axios, Iowa economist Peter Orazem said that the COVID-19 pandemic paired with the challenge of obtaining health and child care it was highly unlikely we'd see those numbers rise.
He also added that in the near future,
Babymaking will likely pick up, but don't expect a boom like what occurred after the Great Depression. ... Iowa births have generally trended downward for decades — and it's unlikely we'll see a major turnaround soon.