Idahoans Aren’t Making Enough Babies These Days
How many kids do you have? If it's more than two, it's higher than average. Idahoans are making fewer babies now, and that could have a big impact on the population down the road.
Growing up, I always heard that the average family had two-and-a-half kids, and my sister and I always wondered where that other half of a child was. It was just the two of us, and it seemed like most families around us were similar, with two kids. And the knowledge that we were all a half-sibling short made us feel sort of incomplete.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this month that in 2017, women had 1.7655 babies. That decreased from 2016 when the average was 1.8205. And families are still trying to figure out which child is the fraction of a whole one.
As Fortune Magazine pointed out, the numbers matter because the population needs to have 2,100 births per 1,000 women to reproduce itself. If we keep going at this rate, the population is going to dwindle. Call it the baby no-boom.
The reasons for having fewer babies will vary, but careers and finances may have something to do with it. Women seem to be waiting longer to have babies and concentrating more on careers, plus it's just dang expensive to have little ones and the economics of the deal make a lot of people think twice about having more than two.
I know one family with six kids, but most other families in my circle have zero to two. I've got three girls. But if we want to replace the Idaho population someday we'd better get a move on with the baby-makin'!
Then again, if Boise is getting a little crowded for our liking, then maybe we're okay with letting the population dwindle a smidge. That would make the lines shorter at Guru Donuts.
The point is to love what you're working with, whether it's zero, two, or twelve kids. And if you're on the heavy end of the child-producing spectrum, you might be doing Idaho a favor in the long run.