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Morgan, S. Philip (1999). Fertility in the United States: Current Features and Future Trends. Population Bulletin of the United Nations, 40/41(Special Issue), 334-348.


The United States total fertility rate was estimated to be 2.01 in 1995, giving it one of the higher fertility rates among developed countries. While the total fertility rate did decline to a level well below 2.0 in the mid-1970s (to a low of 1.74 in 1976), this low level was a temporary phenomenon caused by a dramatic shift in fertility timing toward later ages. The author argues that the current pattern of fertility is sustainable and, consequently, that below-replacement fertility is not an inevitable problem for the United States in the next decade and beyond. A modern United States fertility pattern is characterized by entry into childbearing across a broad age range, moderate levels of childlessness, modest numbers of one-child families, and few large families. There is substantial variability in fertility within the population. Hispanic and black women have fertility substantially above the 2.0 level; whites and Asians are slightly below it. But even for non-Hispanic white women with 16 or more years of schooling, the total fertility rate was estimated to be 1.71 in 1994 (Matthews and Ventura, 1997).

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Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Population Bulletin of the United Nations


Morgan, S. Philip