Slate’s got an interesting column today regarding the “fertility class divide” as they call it.
The basic structure is: Richer people have fewer kids. Poor people breed like rabbits.
Of course, this is nothing new. Jonathan Swift, ages ago, posited that the lower classes of Britain and Ireland had an overpopulation problem. The extent to which portents of a “decline” in British society resulted thereof, can be discussed ad nauseum. It doesn’t seem to have been as bad as the doomsayers indicated, though there’s definitely room to conclude that British society is not the world-spanning empire it once was.
However, today, we have some evidence to back up the problems of too many babies being born to the poor. To wit:
Setting aside the potentials of genetics - there’s still room for this to create some phenomena, even in the society of 2011, that are scarily similar to the following:
Research shows that women with unplanned pregnancies are more likely to smoke, drink, and go without prenatal care. Their births are more likely to be premature. Their children are less likely to be breastfed, and more likely to be neglected and to have various physical and mental health effects. Then, reinforcing the cycle, the very fact of having a child increases a woman’s chances of being poor.