This paper asks the question: “What is more important: children, environment, wealth, or education?” This review of literature incorporates different views on how these three things ought to be prioritized.
Current Demographic Trends
Americans are getting married later and later. Several factors have led to this, including more women getting college educations, more women entering the workforce and more women thinking marriage is unnecessary (Jayson). Detailed graphs of these trends are available in the appendices. In figure 1, the trend towards marriages later in life can be seen.
figure 1 (Data from United States Census Bureau)
When couples get married later in life , they fewer children because they have fewer fertile years in the marriage. Compare figure one to figure two. During the “baby boom” the median marriage age was at its lowest.
The birth rate is the number of births in a year per one thousand people recorded halfway through the year (“Country Comparison”). The fertility rate is the amount of children born per woman age fifteen to forty-nine (Haines). The current American birth rate is 13.83 and the current fertility rate is 2.067 among white Americans (Statistical Abstract). The replacement rate is the birthrate required for a population to remain the same. Statisticians put the replacement rate somewhere between 2.1 to 2.5 (“Dearth”). The two children are to replace their parents while the extra tenths added after two are to compensate for children who die before they can reproduce.
In Protestant America, the fertility rate has been in a steady decline since the country was founded, with the exception of the “baby boom” resulting from the end of W...
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United States. Center for Disease Control. Vital and Health Statistics. By Cynthia L. Ogden. Advance Data. Center for Disease Control, 27 Oct. 2004. Web. 9 Feb. 2012.
United States. Department of Health and Human Services. National Center for Health Statistics. National Vital Statistics Reports. National Center for Health Statistics, 28 June 2006. Web. 9 Feb. 2012.
United States. Census Bureau. National Center for Health Statistics. Statistical Abstract of the United States. United States Census Bureau, 28 Sept. 2011. Web. 2012.
Webber, Gloria, and Ralph Klein. "The Ordination of Women in the Lutheran Church." Interview. The Ordination of Women in the Lutheran Church. Lutheran Radio. KFUO, St. Loius, Missouri, 23 July 1976. Radio. Transcript.
Whaples, Robert. "Hours of Work in U.S. History." EH.net. Economic History Association, 1 Feb. 2010. Web. 9 Feb. 2012.
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