Why are Americans not reproducing?

The Real Reason Americans Are Having Less Babies

How financial insecurity is changing a generation's choice

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Americans are having fewer and fewer babies. It is now at a level at which the current generation can not exactly replace itself. Compared to their baby boomer parents, millennials and other young adults are simply not having many kids. But, why?

Since the Great Recession in 2007, the United States has seen a decline in fertility. At first, researchers thought a declining economy could've been the culprit but as the economy has recovered, the fertility rates have decreased.

In an effort to find the real cause of low fertility rates, a survey done by Morning Consult for The New York Times polled 1,858 respondents aged 20-45. They found that 64% of young adults said the main reason they aren't having a child is that child care is too expensive while 44% said they can't afford more children.

Why Young Adults Are Having Fewer Children Than Their Ideal Number

For the people who said they had or expected to have fewer children than they considered ideal, here's the share that cited each of these reasons as a factor.

Morning Consult Survey

This survey actually provides more insight into why adults are having fewer children. The average amount to raise a child through the age of 17 is now $233,610 (not including college). This estimate has skyrocketed 40% from 2000. To pay for a child, fours years or younger, would now amount to being $13,715.29 per year. It would actually be cheaper to send your child to an in-state college. Not to mention, young adults have a record amount of student debt. They say they'd like to pay off the debt and become financially stable before considering starting a family.

When the Great Recession hit in 2007, people's homes, jobs, and savings were taken with it. It came to an end in 2009, but the aftereffects can still be seen today. According to the study done by NY Times, 49% of young adults say they're too worried about another recession to have any more children.

Young people also say that they'd like to have more leisure time and personal freedom before embarking on parenthood. In a study done by Huffington Post, they found that American mother has, on average 36 minutes of leisure time a day. That's almost nothing. Most young adults would like to enjoy their youth.

Whether or not the younger generation will be able to "catch up" isn't certain, but it'll depend on their capacity to combine work and family.

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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12 Items That Prove Fast Food Is A Gift From The Heavens

Stop pretending like you're too good for McDonald's fries.

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It is no secret that fast food is a controversial topic. Many people have critiqued fast food for its high level in calories and lowness in nutritional value, and recent stories of how the food is prepared has not helped its cause. But let's be real. Fast food is always delicious, and hits the spot at any day and anytime. Stop lying to yourself and pretending like you don't like it, because we all know you do. Easy, convenient, and tasty...what could be better? Well, if you're not convinced, maybe I need to jog your memory a little bit...

1. Chick-fil-A's waffle fries

chick fil a

Lmk why I'm always craving them the most on Sundays.

2. In-N-Out Burger's double-double cheeseburger

in and out

If you don't get animal style, we can't be friends.

3. Chipotle's burrito bowl

chipotle

One day, I hope to live in a world where guac isn't extra.

4. McDonald's chicken nuggets

mcdonalds

These may be the greatest things to ever exist (along with pretty much every other menu item at McDonald's). Pair these nugs with some sweet and sour sauce and you're good to go.

5. Wendy's frosty

milkshake

If you don't dip your fries in milkshakes, can we even be friends?

6. Culver's cheese curds

The best is playing the game to guess whether you're going to get a yellow or orange cheese curd.

7. Auntie Anne's cinnamon sugar sticks

auntie annes

I still have flashbacks to forcing my mom to buy these for me each time I went to the mall...my childhood weakness.

8. Portillo's baked mostacholi

The most delicious cheesy goodness you've ever tasted. Chicago knows what's up.

9. Potbelly's sugar cookie

Pro tip: Never check how many calories these are.

10. Panda Express' orange chicken

orange chicken

UGH. Does this one even need an explanation?

11. Krispy Kreme's glazed donuts

krispy kreme

Literally the best donuts in the whole wide world, don't fight me on that.

12. Papa John's pizza

papa johns

The best of the worst.

Drooling yet? I will always admit that fast food is delicious and definitely the best bang for your buck. Those who say it's gross, greasy, and dirty are clearly mistaken. It's time to stop lying to yourself and go hit the drive-thru. Treat yourself! Your stomach and heart will be its happiest, and the diet can wait until tomorrow. But of course, everything in moderation.

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