Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Selfish Childfree Causing Critical Girl Scout Shortage.

Childless marriages, few immigrants account for decrease in youngest Mainers
. . .
But what about the kids?

The Ouellettes, like a growing number of Maine couples, statistics suggest, simply took a pass.

Maine’s population of young children has declined nearly 10 percent since 2000, according to a recently released U.S. Census Bureau report.
. . .
By 2010, Maine will be the state with the lowest percentage of people under age 18. That will hold true through 2030, according to census projections. By that time, just 18 percent of Maine’s population will be minors, down from roughly 24 percent in 2000.
. . .
"Some people might say it’s selfish," said Glenn, who, like Nicki, enjoys being able to pick up at a moment’s notice and go to a friend’s house to play cards or hop onto one of their new four-wheelers for a summertime ride. "But it makes our lives a lot simpler."
. . .
Immigrant and minority families tend to have more children, Reilly said. And while more diverse states have seen growth among their youngest populations, the nation’s least diverse states — including Maine and Vermont — are graying every year.
. . .
While the statistics show Maine aging and young children becoming scarcer statewide, rural Maine has borne the brunt of the decline.

While births at Maine’s larger hospitals, including Maine Medical Center in Portland and Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, have slightly increased since 2001, many rural hospitals — such as those in Calais and Presque Isle — have dropped.
. . .
The Piscataquis County program for young Girl Scouts, called Brownies, was once the council’s largest with nearly 300 girls. But that was five years ago before Dexter Shoe, one of the area’s largest employers, closed. Now there are 149 girls in the program.

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