Will Women Catch Up to Their Fertility Expectations?
The brief’s key findings are:
- The record low U.S. fertility rate is raising concerns about future population prospects.
- Will it bounce back? Many see hope in the “expectations” data.
- Although today’s women in their 30s have had only 1.3 children, in their early 20s they expected to have more than two. Will they catch up?
- The analysis examined an older cohort of women and used the results to predict how today’s women in their 30s will fare.
- The results suggest that their completed fertility will be 1.96, just a bit below the replacement rate level.
- However, the longer-term prospects are less encouraging:
- women currently in their 20s expect to have fewer children, so completed fertility may be lower for them, and
- COVID could depress it further.