For the fifth year in a row, China’s birth rate has dropped significantly. It hit a record low in 2021, of only 7.5 births per every 1,000 people. This rate is barely enough to outnumber deaths.
National Bureau of Statistics head Ning Jizhe said the decrease in births is a result of “a decrease in the number of women of childbearing age, a continued decline in fertility, changes in attitudes toward childbearing and delays of marriage by young people.”
For years, the Communist government forced women to abort all children after their first under China’s one-child policy. Now, the government is feverishly releasing propaganda and passing laws to encourage families to have more children, realizing that its one-child policy led to a shrinking workforce and economic decline.
The Chinese government’s view of children is what we must avoid in the United States.
Having children and expanding families should always be encouraged. It’s healthy for individuals and society as a whole.
While we don’t have to deal with the same roadblocks in the U.S. that have existed in China, our birth rate has also declined significantly over the last several decades. In 2020, the country saw 56 births per 1,000 women, which is the lowest birth rate ever recorded in the U.S. Since the 1960s, the birth rate has decreased by about half.
The birth rate in Wisconsin is not any better than that of the rest of the country. Wisconsin has been below replacement birth-rate since 1974. The replacement birth-rate is 2.1 children for each woman of child-bearing age. That number doesn’t grow a population; it just holds it even.
Birth rates are incredibly important, as they reveal a lot about the health of a community. They often reflect a society’s view of marriage and family or a population’s fertility rate. A high birth rate also helps sustain a growing economy and a high standard of living.
The falling birth rate in America and Wisconsin’s decades-old low birth rate can be attributed to a number of things. First, women are prioritizing things such as education and careers more than ever before, meaning they are getting married later in life. On average, women are having their first child at the age of 27, a stark increase from the average age of 23 in 2010.
Abortion has also undoubtedly affected the birth rate in the U.S. Every year, well over 600,000 children are stripped of the right to life in the U.S.
Not only does abortion end the lives of pre-born children, it also alters our view of children. Our culture tells us that babies are disposable and without inherent value. As a result, our society simply doesn’t prioritize family life.
Restoring a healthy birth rate will require a shift in our culture. We need men and women to recognize the value of marriage and of life and the lasting fulfillment that having children provides.
We must avoid the situation that China has gotten itself into. While legislation typically follows the culture, some legislation can help with at least one contributor to the falling birth-rate.
WFA is supporting Senate Bill 923, which would prohibit abortions after a heartbeat can be detected. If this bill were to become law, we would essentially stop the vast majority of abortions in our state. Meanwhile, we await a US Supreme Court decision on Dobbs, the case that many believe will, at a minimum, roll-back Roe v. Wade, and return the issue of abortion to the states (and Wisconsin still has in place its statute that criminalizes most abortions).
All life is sacred and a high birth rate is an indicator of a healthy society. Please pray that men and women in Wisconsin recognize the importance of marrying and having children and will re-prioritize family life.
Take action: contact your legislators and ask them to support SB 923! (Simply put your address in the top search bar to locate your legislators.)