According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, there was an unintended side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic: a slight increase in U.S. fertility rates. Though births among foreign-born mothers declined early in the pandemic, a “baby bump” seems to have developed among U.S.-born mothers in 2021. Particularly impacted were women most able to work from home.
As CNN’s Alicia Wallace wrote, this trend counteracts “a longstanding economic certainty: Birth rates don’t increase during economic downturns.”
The boost only erased about two years of declining fertility rates, but it’s a nice exception to what’s been a steady decline. Like the increase among Nordic countries, it upends conventional cultural and economic wisdom.
More importantly, we need to upend the idea that kids are burdens that diminish adult happiness. Families are absolutely vital in combating loneliness, creating economic stability, and giving people a lasting sense of purpose.
The stronger family life is, the better life is … for individuals and societies.
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