Americans are having more babies than at any time since 1971, USA Today reports. The fertility rate hit an average of 2.1 babies for every woman in 2006, the highest since just before the Baby Boom ended. The rise in fertility puts America apart from other developed countries, many of which are trying to cajole their people into having more babies to replace aging populations.
Experts credit some of the rise to greater prosperity. "Birthrates ticked up quite a bit among the most affluent," one expert commented. "Kids are luxury goods, and some of this uptick may be stay-at-home moms." The US population topped 300 million last year and is expected to reach 400 million by 2040.