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Where have all the children gone? Number of kids declining across the country

Though almost all of Utah is bucking the trend, most counties in the United States are seeing fewer and fewer people in their youngest demographic group.

In an analysis of the 2010 Census, USA TODAY, found that 95 percent of U.S. counties have fewer children today than they did in 2000.

In fact, it's more common to have a dog (43 million homes) than a child under 18 (38 million).

The decline makes sense, when considering that more and more adults are getting married later in life, if at all, and then postponing children until they have finished their education, or until they feel financially secure or more emotionally ready.

In fact, recent Census data show that for the first time, fewer than half of households were headed by "traditional" married couples, in what the New York Times called "a milestone in the evolution of the American family toward less-traditional forms."

Yet this break from tradition, with its ripple effects of fewer children, has many local school district officials and community leaders worried, because they know that a decline in children means shutting down schools and laying off teachers as well as closing swimming pools and certain child-related businesses due to a lack of participation and funds, USA TODAY reports.

Rural areas often feel the greatest loss, as children grow up, go to college and then don't come back, depriving the community of future generations.


(To see more Census data visit