Nebraska has one of the highest fertility rates in the country, despite an average decrease nationally
A recent report from CDC says across the country, there are less babies entering the world. That newly released report says that the fertility rate is dropping.
However, Nebraska is one of the best states in the nation when it comes to child births, but why is it a problem nationally?
"There aren't that many states that are above fertility replacement, which means that there are enough births to replace our current population," David Drozd, a research coordinator at University of Nebraska-Omaha, said.
Across all categories, including race and education level, Nebraska is one of the top six states meeting or exceeding that replacement level.
Overall among the three major racial groups, Nebraska’s black fertility rate is 50 per cent above the national average, Hispanic fertility is 30 per cent above the norm, and non-Hispanic white is around 15 per cent higher.
But not every state is on that level...
In order to maintain the United States' current population, each woman in the country would need to have at least two children.
So why isn't that happening?
"A lot of people want to get ahead in their jobs. They want to be stable before they do have kids," said Amber Roehrs, a UNL student.
Gabe Eubanks, another UNL student, agrees.
"I think it's definitely financially smarter for families to have less kids," Eubanks said.
In 2016, American women were 26-years-old when they gave birth to their first child. That’s up from 21-years-old in 1970.
Significant economic events like the Great Recession can also negatively impact the number of babies born.
But why does Nebraska seem to excel at reproducing?
"We tend to be fairly civic minded, do a lot of volunteering, do a lot of work with many populations and having larger family sizes is one of the things that's just kind of an extension from that or an extension of being religious, for example," Drozd said.
Religion plays a large part in Eubanks’ decision.
"I know with my background of being raised Catholic, having a big family, I think that's pretty much been the same throughout the years," Eubanks said.
As for when the current generation of child–bearing adults wants to have children, CDC says the trend is to wait later in life.
"I would say mid–to–late twenties is when I'd want to start having kids, definitely. Really I'm kind of just waiting to see what happens in my future. I'm not exactly trying to plan it out," Roehrs said.
Drozd also says because of the declining fertility rate and the quickly aging baby–boomer generation, it's going to be a challenge to predict the future population of America.