With the school year at a close and kids across the country out and about, we’re reminded just how many children live in the U.S. — over 100 million. While America certainly has many children, our annual population growth rate is less than 1 percent. This figure is astonishing when we look at countries like Niger and Malawi, with population growth rates of 3.5 percent and 3.0 percent respectively. Economics certainly has a role to play in this difference, but how significant is religion’s role in increasing world population?
Many of the countries that are listed as having the highest birth rate by the CIA World Factbook are also the same countries which were deemed the most religious by a recent Gallup report Given that correlation, it should come as no surprise that especially religious states here in the U.S. usually have higher birth rates than less religious states. Richard Florida of the Atlantic discusses this trend in a recent article by highlighting a study done by the Martin Prosperity Institute which found that the “teen birth rate is actually higher in more religious states.” This tendency of religious states to have a high teen birth rate is echoed in an article by Lisa Belkin of the New York Times which shares a report by the journal Reproductive Health that found “a strong association between the teenage birth rate of a particular state and its level of religiosity.”
To read the rest of this Huffington Post article from AHA Executive Director Roy Speckhardt, click here.
Roy Speckhardt is the executive director of the American Humanist Association.