JESSE POWELL writes:
What makes for a healthy community? Children. It is really quite simple. A community that invests in children is investing in the future; it is demonstrating the desire to perpetuate itself. This is not simply a worthy ideal. It is a reality apparent in the statistics of social health.
The fertility of a community turns out to be the best indicator of both current family functioning and future flourishing. High fertility is associated with both positive family outcomes in the present and change in a positive direction in the future. A high Married Parents Ratio by itself does not indicate a positive future direction; neither does high income or other indications of economic prosperity. In this way, fertility is different; high fertility is actually a predictor of future increases in fertility as well as future increases in the Married Parents Ratio.