Maybe we should call this the Baby Bust. Census data indicates that America’s love affair with children is waning, with the percentage of the population that’s under age 18 falling in 95% of counties between 2000 and 2010, USA Today reports. There are now more households with dogs (43 million) than with kids under 18 (38 million).
But the effect is even more pronounced in some communities, like rural counties “where young people left and older people are left behind,” says one demographer. “Another place would be the yuppie county in the central city, where gentrification has occurred and there are young 20-somethings who don’t have any children.” The result is communities without services parents rely on—like schools, day cares, and toy stores—making a new boom of youth less likely. (Read more children stories.)