Religious Women in the U.S. Are Having More Children

Following a drop in fertility during the global recession of 2007-2008, women, especially religious ones, are having more babies again. The total fertility rate i the United States is predicted to climb from a 25-year low of 1.89 children per woman in 2012 to 1.90 children per woman in 2013. In 2007, the rate was 2.12 children per woman.

Sam Sturgeon, president of the Demographic Intelligence, the consulting agency that developed the forecast said in a statement:

"As the economy rebounds and women have the children they postponed immediately after the Great Recession, we are seeing an uptick in U.S. fertility."

According to the Center for Disease Control's National Survey of Family Growth, an ongoing survey spanning 2011 to 2015, churchgoing women have more children than their non-religious peers. The survey included 5,000 interviews per year, which were conducted by the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research.

The survey found that women between the ages of 15 and 44 who attend religious services at least weekly have 1.42 children on average, compared with 1.11 children of similar age women who rarely or never attend services. More religious women said that they also intend to have more kids (2.62 per woman) than non-religious women (2.10 per woman).

Furthermore, religious mothers also have a larger share of the total births in the U.S. Women who attend religious services represent just 51 percent of U.S. women ages 15 to 44, but account for 56 percent of births.

In the statement, Sturgeon explained the results:

"Partly because religious communities provide a family-friendly context to the women who attend them, religious women are more likely to have children, and to bear a comparatively high share of the nation’s children, compared to their less religious or secular peers."

Released quarterly, the U.S. Fertility Forecast, makes projections of U.S. birth trends in 2013, 2014, and 2015 based upon an in-depth analysis of demographic, economic, and cultural trends. The August edition is the first to look at the link between religion and fertility. In 2011, the forecast was 99.92 percent accurate in predicting the total number of U.S. births.