Lyman Stone, in “American Fertility Is Falling Short of What Women Want,” breaks down the latest stats:
“The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reflecting births as of the year ending in September 2017, shows the total fertility rate at 1.77 lifetime births per woman, down 3.8% since 2015, and down 16.4% since its most recent peak at 2.12 in 2007. (The replacement rate in developed countries is around 2.1.)…
The fertility rate has increased for women over 40, and the generation of women finishing up their childbearing years now had more children than their mothers did, but that isn’t likely to be true for their daughters. The key factors driving down the birthrate are not mysterious: The pregnancy rate among young women is falling, and has been for years.
But what began as sharp declines in pregnancy and childbearing among teenagers — typically considered a socially desirable result — has slowly spread up the age cohorts, first to women in their early 20s, then to those in their late 20s. And now fertility decline has set in for women even in their 30s. Far from reversing as America grew out of economic recession, this lost fertility has worsened.