Increase in American fertility rate (updated)

Some recent positive news that the fertility rate in the US

has climbed to its highest level since 1971, setting the country apart from most industrialized nations that are struggling with low birthrates and aging populations.

The fertility rate hit 2.1 in 2006, according to preliminary estimates released by the National Center for Health Statistics. It's a milestone: the first time since shortly after the baby boom ended that the nation has reached the rate of births needed for a generation to replace itself, an average 2.1 per woman.
has somewhat offset the negative news, noted here  recently that

The teen birth rate in the United States rose in 2006 for the first time since 1991, and unmarried childbearing also rose significantly....
With the exception of France, fertility rates in most industrialized countries have declined significantly, falling below the 2.1 replacement level mentioned above, despite the so called "family friendly" policies such as subsidized day care and government paid leave available in these nations.

Well, actually the US does have family friendly policies--they're just not government compelled, government subsidized.

Fertility experts say that economic prosperity, immigration and better job security for working mothers contribute to more births.

"We do know that birthrates ticked up quite a bit among the most affluent," says Stephanie Coontz, director of research and public education at the Council on Contemporary Families. "Kids are luxury goods, and some of this uptick may be stay-at-home moms."

It also has become easier for women to negotiate leaves from work to stay home with their children. "Women now feel much more entitled and much more confident, especially as they're getting more education," Coontz says. 

Update Andy Bryant adds:

If you dig into the numbers of the study you'll notice that it includes 18 and 19 year olds as teenagers. While it is true that the birth rate in the aforementioned age bracket has risen, it doesn't factor in that teen birth rates for the lower age bracket is still on the decline. So it's technically true that "... teen birth rate in the United States rose in 2006 for the first time since 1991." But by not clarifying or pointing out this distinction the report you referenced can be misleading. Just thought you'd like to know.

Ethel C. Fenig adds:
 
Andy Bryant adds:If you dig into the of the study you'll notice that it includes 18 and 19 year olds as teenagers. While it is true that the birth rate in the aforementioned age bracket has risen, it doesn't factor in that teen birth rates for the lower age bracket is still on the decline. So it's technically true that "... But by not clarifying or pointing out this distinction the report you referenced can be misleading. Just thought you'd like to know.Ethel C. Fenig adds: 
Coming the day after the announcement that Nickelodeon star, 16 year old Jamie Lynn Spears -- sister of you know who, who has her own parental, marital, professional and other personal woes -- is with child fathered by a 19 year old and a week after the release of Juno, a widely acclaimed movie about an atypical teen ager who is pregnant--white, middle class family--personalized the statistics reported by the US government on adolescent pregnancy. 

In the US, just about any under 16 year old is way too young to parent properly; given the lack of maturity and resources of most 17-20 year olds, they too should not be parents.  But alas, as we pointed out, many are. And their children are not the only ones who suffer; the wider society does also with increased crime, educational disruption, family problems and poverty percolating through society.

Some recent positive news that the fertility rate in the US

has climbed to its highest level since 1971, setting the country apart from most industrialized nations that are struggling with low birthrates and aging populations.

The fertility rate hit 2.1 in 2006, according to preliminary estimates released by the National Center for Health Statistics. It's a milestone: the first time since shortly after the baby boom ended that the nation has reached the rate of births needed for a generation to replace itself, an average 2.1 per woman.
has somewhat offset the negative news, noted here  recently that

The teen birth rate in the United States rose in 2006 for the first time since 1991, and unmarried childbearing also rose significantly....
With the exception of France, fertility rates in most industrialized countries have declined significantly, falling below the 2.1 replacement level mentioned above, despite the so called "family friendly" policies such as subsidized day care and government paid leave available in these nations.

Well, actually the US does have family friendly policies--they're just not government compelled, government subsidized.

Fertility experts say that economic prosperity, immigration and better job security for working mothers contribute to more births.

"We do know that birthrates ticked up quite a bit among the most affluent," says Stephanie Coontz, director of research and public education at the Council on Contemporary Families. "Kids are luxury goods, and some of this uptick may be stay-at-home moms."

It also has become easier for women to negotiate leaves from work to stay home with their children. "Women now feel much more entitled and much more confident, especially as they're getting more education," Coontz says. 

Update Andy Bryant adds:

If you dig into the numbers of the study you'll notice that it includes 18 and 19 year olds as teenagers. While it is true that the birth rate in the aforementioned age bracket has risen, it doesn't factor in that teen birth rates for the lower age bracket is still on the decline. So it's technically true that "... teen birth rate in the United States rose in 2006 for the first time since 1991." But by not clarifying or pointing out this distinction the report you referenced can be misleading. Just thought you'd like to know.

Ethel C. Fenig adds:
 
Andy Bryant adds:If you dig into the of the study you'll notice that it includes 18 and 19 year olds as teenagers. While it is true that the birth rate in the aforementioned age bracket has risen, it doesn't factor in that teen birth rates for the lower age bracket is still on the decline. So it's technically true that "... But by not clarifying or pointing out this distinction the report you referenced can be misleading. Just thought you'd like to know.Ethel C. Fenig adds: 
Coming the day after the announcement that Nickelodeon star, 16 year old Jamie Lynn Spears -- sister of you know who, who has her own parental, marital, professional and other personal woes -- is with child fathered by a 19 year old and a week after the release of Juno, a widely acclaimed movie about an atypical teen ager who is pregnant--white, middle class family--personalized the statistics reported by the US government on adolescent pregnancy. 

In the US, just about any under 16 year old is way too young to parent properly; given the lack of maturity and resources of most 17-20 year olds, they too should not be parents.  But alas, as we pointed out, many are. And their children are not the only ones who suffer; the wider society does also with increased crime, educational disruption, family problems and poverty percolating through society.