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A friend wrote to chastise me for failing to include fresh statistics that show a marked increase in the French fertility rate. Apparently women who did not have children in the twenties are now having babies, and this is pushing up rates that looked dire a decade ago.

Check out this news report from a couple of weeks ago.

Fair enough. The variables in human behavior are many, and undoubtedly very complex. As I pointed out today , saying anything beyond reporting the latest statistics is dicey. I’m sure that we could convene a colloquium of demographers and witness some heated back-and-forth as they debated the meaning of these new numbers (and past statistics as well).

What interests me about this new report of rising fertility rates in France is the combination of delay in childbearing with the end of marriage as the normative framework for fertility. Those two trends will surely influence culture in the coming decades. It’ll be interesting to see how things shake out. Unmarried parents of teenagers in early retirement?



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