The Most and Least Fertile States in the U.S.

The total fertility rate in the United States -- the number of children born per woman -- has dropped by nearly half since the 1950s to 1.88. Historically, declines in total fertility rates have been seen during times of economic hardship, such as the Great Depression and the 1970s energy crisis. Accordingly, increases were seen in more plentiful eras like the 1950s and 1960s -- out of which came the baby boomer generation. Fluctuations have been less dramatic in recent decades, but geographical differences still exist. That got us thinking: Which states are the most fertile -- and how might the expense of having children and changes in health policy affect women's decision to have children?

The most fertile states in the nation
Do you live in one of the most fertile states? We used the Centers for Disease Control's total fertility rates to determine the most fertile parts of the United States:

1. Utah: 2.374 children born per woman
2. South Dakota: 2.269
3. Idaho: 2.193
4. Alaska: 2.185
5. North Dakota: 2.122
6. Nebraska: 2.119
7. Kansas: 2.118
8. Hawaii: 2.095
9. Texas: 2.075
10. Oklahoma: 2.039

The least fertile states in the nation
Is your home state resistant to multiple children? These are the states (inclusive of the District of Columbia) with the lowest total fertility rates:

1. Rhode Island: 1.593 children born per woman
2. New Hampshire: 1.605
3. D.C.: 1.608
4. Vermont: 1.613
5. Massachusetts: 1.632
6. Connecticut: 1.665
7. Maine: 1.678
8. Oregon: 1.742
9. Florida: 1.769
10. New York: 1.773

The impact of cost
Children are not cheap. One study found that women in California face hospital bills for childbirth ranging from $3,296 to $37,227, and nationwide, out-of-pocket costs for the insured average $3,400. New costs arise virtually every week of pregnancy. A home birth can be some 60% less expensive, but there are other considerations with opting for a home birth. And these bills cover just the pregnancy and birth -- not the diapers, formula, food, and other immediate costs, nor long-term expenses such as your child's education. And then there are the unexpected costs of having a baby.

The CDC recently reported that birth rates for teenagers and those in their early 20s are at record lows, and the birth rate for those between ages 25 and 29 also declined. Older mothers, those between ages 30 and 44 and who might be in a more secure financial state, make up the only group whose birth rates increased. The Population Reference Bureau indicates this may be due to the recent recession but also points out that long-term trends in fertility may be linked to women's employment and earnings, compared with men.

The impact of health policy
Healthcare itself has changed greatly in the past few years. The Affordable Care Act provides many women's health benefits: Contraception, maternity care, breastfeeding services, and well-woman visits are covered, some free of charge. Whereas many pre-health-reform plans did not cover pregnancy and therefore left women with the entire bill, plans are now required to cover pregnancy -- which means that many more women will be able to have a baby affordably. This will give expectant mothers the chance to ask the right questions before deciding on an OB/GYN and choosing a hospital for giving birth.

Your credit card may soon be completely worthless
The plastic in your wallet is about to go the way of the typewriter, the VCR, and the 8-track tape player. When it does, a handful of investors could stand to get very rich. You can join them -- but you must act now. An eye-opening new presentation reveals the full story on why your credit card is about to be worthless -- and highlights one little-known company sitting at the epicenter of an earth-shaking movement that could hand early investors the kind of profits we haven't seen since the dot-com days. Click here to watch this stunning video.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2942682, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/21/2014 2:39:58 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Apple's next smart device (warning, it may shock you

Apple recently recruited a secret-development "dream team" to guarantee its newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out. In fact, ABI Research predicts 485 million of this type of device will be sold per year. But one small company makes Apple's gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early-in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!