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The Boston Globe

Opinion

jeff jacoby

Beware the baby bust generation

Fertility in America has been declining for years. According to the Pew Research Center, the nation’s birth rate hit an all-time low in 2011 — just 63 births per 1,000 women of childbearing age. It was almost twice as high — 123 births per 1,000 women — at the peak of the Baby Boom in 1957.

As babies and children disappear from a society, what takes their place? One answer, as journalist Jonathan V. Last observes in a forthcoming book, “What to Expect When No One’s Expecting,” is pets.

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