The U.S. population is down to 1.9 from to 2.6 in 2001. We haven't been at a replacement rate since the 70's.
Western European nations range from about 1.4 to the lowest in the world which is Italy where they are the home of the Roman Catholic church that doesn't believe in birth control. Think about that one for just a minute.
After World War II, Western European nations and the U.S. had a "baby boom". So, there were HUGH numbers of births right after the war. Because of the "baby boom", the population swelled and life expectancy has increased since then. So you have a larger number of people moving through a society and living longer. As a result, our population numbers have been growing even though our birth rates have been declining both here and in Europe.
Japan has a birth rate of about 1.4. Japan is shortening their work week and sending people home with incentives. Why? Because they are beginning to see the problem. In Japan they didn't have a "baby boom" therefore they didn't have the large swell of people that move through their population for a long period of time so their population continued to grow even though their birth rate was low. Which means they saw the result of decreasing birth rates before Western European nations and the U.S. We haven't seen it yet. It's going to happen very rapidly though, when the "baby boomers" begin to die off in mass. Then our (U.S.) numbers will begin to fall rapidly and only then will we begin to realize we have a troubling birth rate. We appear a lot healthier than we actually are. Average age of first births in the U.S. is around 27 up from 21 in 1970, which decreases the number of child bearing years.
Russia's population in 2005 was around 140 million. Their projected population for 2050 (just 45 years later) is 70 million. They are currently shrinking at a rate of 700,000+ each year. They are dying right before our eyes because of their birth rate. So, what are they doing about it? The Russian governtment is offering women $9,000 to have a baby. And, if the mother had a job prior to giving birth, they will also give her 40% of her salary to STAY HOME and raise the baby. Sadly though, it isn't working. Why? Because birth rates are a world view issue not an economic one. Let me prove it to you. Does the average family in the U.S. make more money now in 2010 or did they make more in 1910? Even if you adjust for inflation, the average family makes more now, in 2010. But yet, in 1910 we were having more children per couple than in 2010. In 2010 we talk about how many children we can "afford" but in 1910 when families were making far less money, they talked about how many children they could be blessed with. Again, it is a world view issue not an economic one.
So, they are trying this in Russia, Spain and Sweden and it isn't working. Why? Well, how much money would it take to change your world view? Money doesn't change your world view.
Dr. Voddie Baucham
The State of the Family
MS Homeschool Conference, 2010
"Christians must recognize that this rebellion against parenthood is nothing less than an absolute revolt against God's design."
And God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth." Gen 1:22
Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Psa 127:3