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By Karen Sternheimer According to provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the birth rate in the United States fell to an all-time low in 2016.

Births to teens also fell to an all-time low, down from 41.5 births per thousand in 2007 to 20.3 in 2016, a 51% decline.

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However, the birthrate for women 40-44 was 11.3 per thousand, and for women 45-49 it was .9, lower than any age group except 10-14-year-olds.

Women 25-34 had the highest birthrates, at about 100 births per thousand.

A couple of months ago, I was sitting at a bar minding my own business when the woman next to me did something strange.

Surrounded by potential partners, she pulled out her phone, hid it coyly beneath the counter, and opened the online dating app Tinder.

On her screen, images of men appeared and then disappeared to the left and right, depending on the direction in which she wiped.

I felt a deep sense a rejection -- not personally, but on behalf of everyone at the bar.Instead of interacting with the people around her, she chose to search for a companion elsewhere online.I wondered to myself, is this what online dating has done to us?Is it creating a new reality in which people actively avoid real-life interactions?Of course, others have worried about these sorts of questions before.But the fear that online dating is changing us, collectively, that it's creating unhealthy habits and preferences that aren't in our best interests, is being driven more by paranoia than it is by actual facts.

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