Warren, a parent herself, didn’t actually want her solution to become the default choice. But it’s become clear that many Americans — wittingly or not — have taken that road.
The U.S. birth rate tied its historical low in 2018, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In a continued slide downward following the Great Recession, the number of children an average American woman can expect to have in her lifetime has fallen to 1.73, and may keep declining. That’s well below the replacement rate of 2.1 children per family, but also significantly below the number of children that women say they want.
And their reasoning lines up with Warren’s prediction, too: It’s the money. In a New York Times survey of 2,000 parents who’d had fewer children than they would have liked, 44 percent said they couldn’t afford to have another child; 64 percent laid the blame on the ruinously high cost of child care.