American women who attend religious services have the largest families, study finds
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA, August 1, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – According to a new population report, the meek shall inherit the earth, because they will have the most children.
The "U.S. Fertility Forecast" report, released today by Demographic Intelligence of Charlottesville, Virginia, found that women who regularly attend religious services were more likely to have large families than those who did not.
Researchers noted that faithful attendance at religious services is associated with higher levels of both actual and intended fertility.
"We started to wonder about various groups that might make fertility decisions based on other” than economic “factors, and religious persons seemed to be a natural group, so we explored this with the data," Sam Sturgeon said, noting that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) gathers statistics on this aspect of national fertility.
The National Survey of Family Growth, conducted by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, has found that among women of childbearing age, those who attend religious services weekly or more often have an average of 1.42 children, compared with 1.11 children for women who rarely or never attend church.
Moreover, the survey found that women who attend religious services weekly "intend" to have 2.62 children, while those who say they attend religious services rarely or never want to have 2.10 children.
"Partly because religious communities provide a family-friendly context to the women who attend them," Sturgeon observed, "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."
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Jordan Ballor, a research fellow at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty and executive editor of the Journal of Markets & Morality, stated that the "abortion culture," which began with the nationwide legalization of abortion in 1973, is at the root of the demographic decline, as well as the current debt crisis.
He believes a renewal and reform of culture that "prizes children" and "celebrates parenthood" is the way to restore the economic stability of the country.
"A number of important trends were revealed by the latest Census data, but none more important than the dynamic between demographics, economics, and morality," Ballor wrote in an essay titled "Debt and the Birth Dearth."
"The way forward for America [is] to reverse the birth dearth and break away from the fatal connection between the welfare state mentality and declining populations. America needs a renewal of the moral ecology that places primary value on dignity and respect for human life," Ballor wrote. "We need a moral culture that prizes having children, that celebrates parenthood as a legitimate and praiseworthy vocation."
"Without this kind of renewal, which would result in the literal 'revival,' or coming to life again, of the nation, there is far worse in store for us than chronically unbalanced budgets," he warned.