Rio Grande Valley's birth rate is declining

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POSTED: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - 5:11pm

UPDATED: Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 8:29am

The recent deep recession and the slowing pace of immigration have pushed the declining U.S. birth rate to its lowest level since 1920. The American birth rate is now below what is called the "replacement level,” meaning if the current rate continues, the U.S. population will actually begin to shrink. That could be a big problem if there are not enough working Americans to support aging baby boomers in their retirement. But fewer people could also have some advantages.

"As the population growth declines resources are reachable by more people. The education rate increases, job quality increases in general quality of life improves."

Having kids is expensive and getting more so. It costs parents of a child born today almost twice as much as it cost to raise a child born in 1985.

So many young adults are opting to have fewer children….or to remain childless altogether. But there are other non-economic motives contributing to the decline in the national birth rate.

"There are many factors…for instance education is probably making a dent in the population growth rate. The accessibility to services like family planning, birth control pills and other methods."

Dr. Aguayo says most Rio Grande Valley families are limiting themselves to two or three children….which they hope could mean a brighter and more prosperous future. Reporting from Brownsville, Abigail Camilo, KVEO Newscenter 23.

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