EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The results of the most recent U.S. Census revealed one of the most eye-catching trends in the country is a relatively slow rate of population growth.
The growth rate between 2010 and 2020 was 7 percent, which corresponds to previous low rates of growth that took place during the 1930s. A major factor leading to the trend is a steady decline in the U.S. birthrate.
A new study by Roofstock examined the most affordable locations in the U.S. with the most families who have children.
The study found that El Paso residents enjoy living costs that are about 12.3 percent less than the national average. Additionally, 32.6 percent of households in El Paso have children and the national rate is 26.4 percent.
According to the study, El Paso has the 9th highest percentage of households in the country with children.
The proportion of households with children has been steadily declining since the 1960s, and the trend does not seem to be waning.
Fertility rates have declined in the U.S. (and other developed countries) in recent decades as social, cultural, and economic paradigm shifts occur.
Recently, for example, Gen X and Millennial Americans are delaying parenthood, having fewer children, or choosing to not have children at all due to the costs of raising a family; increased debt burdens on young Americans have exacerbated the issue.
The Baby Boom after WWII drove the percentage of American households with children upward in the late 1940s and 1950s. During this era, more than half of U.S. households had a child, with the percentage peaking in 1963 when the first Boomers were turning 17.
The share of households with children, however, has dropped since then: in 1985 the share dipped below 50 percent and to 40 percent for the first time in recent history in 2020.
Labor participation and educational opportunities for women have expanded dramatically, as has the use of contraceptives. These factors have allowed women to delay marriage and childbirth, while divorce and cohabitation by unmarried people grow more common.
Family structures have been reshaped from the traditional nuclear model.
Economic pressures remain a major challenge when it comes to whether people will choose to have children and if so, how many, despite the increased opportunities for people in the U.S.
The study reports this is especially true for single parents — specifically, single mothers.
Households with single parents naturally earn less than those with two parents.
The average married couple with children has an annual household income of $96,571 in the U.S., while single fathers bring in about $56,156 and single others earny $40,815.
Single parent homes also incur greater individual expenses associated with raising children because they cannot share costs for expenses — like housing and transportation — and often rely more heavily on child care.
One option for families who want children but worry about the costs is to pursue locations that have lower costs of living.
Texas is second in the country with households that have children, at a rate of 31.5 percent.
Below is a data summary that compares El Paso’s statistics to the national average:
|El Paso average||National average|
|Percentage of households with kids under 18: 32.6%||Percentage of households with kids under 18: 26.4%|
|Total households with kids under 18: 88,066||Total households with kids under 18: 32,481,312|
|Total households: 270,137||Total households: 122,802,852|
|Median income for families with kids under 18: $52,301||Median income for families with kids under 18: $78,001|
|Cost of living (compared to average): -12.3%||Cost of living (compared to average): N/A|