We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Birthrates are a clear signal of cultural optimism. Not only nations, but subcultures within nations will tell you a great deal about what they believe the future is going to be like by the way they discuss having children.
Related rule of thumb: parents with graduate degrees and more than two children = Catholics, evangelicals, or Mormons. You will find very few exceptions over the last thirty years. The others set themselves expectations of how many resources they will have to put into a child, especially as regards time, that are so daunting they seldom go above one child. I repeatedly tell young couples from the aspirational class "Have more children, and worry about them less/pay less attention to them. They'll be fine." They laugh and even somewhat agree, but I can tell the information is so counter to everything they are surrounded by that they can't really entertain the idea. Anything more than two just seems completely overwhelming to them.
What a sad life they live over at NPR. Even their game shows, good as they are, rely on a very cynical humor.
Assistant Village Idiot
My Dad (we were 5 of us kids) said "If you leave them alone, they grow like weeds."
I had the misfortune of being the first, before they learned that.
My Grandpa always said: "They bring it with them," meaning babies bring what they need to survive, and I agree, babies aren't that hard really. I raised 4 very successful children on very few resources. I come from a large family that thrived and my children benefited from my parent's extended family network in a lot of ways. But now in 2019 my daughter, the one who most wanted a big family is dialing down...I'm sure it has to do with the current cultural expectations. For no reason that makes sense to me, they're focusing on caution and comfort and limiting their offspring accordingly from their original 5+ down to 3.