According to Sharon Jayson of USA Today, we are just now beginning to experience what experts are terming a “boomlet” akin to the Baby Boomers of the 50’s and 60’s of which I am one.
A record 4,315,000 live births were recorded in 2007, a significant increase over the past few years. It hasn’t been this high since 1957 – 51 years ago!
The 2007 numbers are attributed to a “perfect storm” of factors: more immigrants having children, professional women who delayed childbearing until their 40s, and larger numbers of women in their 20s and 30s in the population, keeping the fertility rate high. The average number of births per woman was 2.1 in 2006, the highest since 1971.
“We have three different phenomena around birth happening at the same time,” says demographer Arthur Nelson of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.
Ronald Rindfuss of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, family demographer, makes an interesting point and says there is a bigger question looming than who’s having kids.
“From the perspective of schools that have to educate these children, this is a real increase in the number of births and something they’re going to have to deal with,” he says.
I know over the past 25 years that my husband has been teaching in the City Schools of Decatur, we have seen the enrollment numbers drop through the years, seen schools closed and school communities consolidated into fewer neighborhood schools, and now, over the past several years, seen the enrollments begin to climb again.
Are our schools ready for this kind of influx?
To read this article in its entirety, please visit USA Today.