In Wisconsin, many aspects of mothering have changed over time. The decline of birth rates, fertility rates, and infant mortality rates represents the modal trend. Low-income mothers are able to receive a variety of forms of public assistance. However, the recent welfare reform also created new problems in Wisconsin.

Over the past half century, the birthrate has been steadily declining in Wisconsin: in 1950, there were 23.9 births per 1,000 population; by the end of 2007, the same rate has dropped to 12.9. In 2002, the average age of mothers at first birth was 25 years.

During this time period, total fertility rate, i.e., the average number of children that would be born to a woman over her lifetime, has decreased from 3.2 to 2.0. In recent ...

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