Record US fertility rate decline confuses the easily confused

Filed in National by on May 17, 2018 7 Comments

Note to Confused Demographers: A handful of wealthy people getting even weathier does not mean that “the economy” has “rebounded.”

WASHINGTON — The fertility rate in the United States fell to a record low for a second straight year, federal officials reported Thursday, extending a deep decline that began in 2008 with the Great Recession.

The fertility rate fell to 60.2 births per 1,000 women of childbearing age, down 3 percent from 2016, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. It was the largest single-year decline since 2010, when families were still feeling the effects of a weak economy.

Fertility rates are essential measures of a society’s demographic balance. If they are too high, that can strain resources like housing and education. If they are too low, a country can face challenges replacing its work force and supporting its older adults, like in Russia and Japan. In the United States, declines in rates have not led to drops in the population, in part because they have been largely offset by immigration.

The country has been living through one of the longest declines in fertility in decades and demographers are trying to figure out what is driving it. Rates tend to drop during difficult economic times as people put off having babies, and then rise once the economy rebounds. But the rate has not recovered since the Great Recession. A brief uptick in 2014 did not last. The number of births has also declined, and last year was its lowest level since 1987. The fertility rate is the number of births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44.

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Comments (7)

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  1. Arthur says:

    That’s good. The world can’t support the human population

  2. jason330 says:

    Old Americans are going to be begging for some illegal immigrants to help them into the bathroom.

  3. RE Vanella says:

    Malthusianism!

    This is free content, remember.

  4. Liberal Elite says:

    @REV “Malthusianism!”

    Don’t worry. Death is not a Poisson process (unless you go to war with horses).

  5. Mike Dinsmore says:

    @LE

    Death is not a fish process??

  6. Liberal Elite says:

    @MD “Death is not a fish process??”

    Not quite…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poisson_distribution
    “A practical application of this distribution was made by Ladislaus Bortkiewicz in 1898 when he was given the task of investigating the number of soldiers in the Prussian army killed accidentally by horse kicks; this experiment introduced the Poisson distribution to the field of reliability engineering.”

    But what I basically said, is that death is not just a random time independent process. Our genes are our masters and we are deliberately executed by them when we get old. In fact, every disease and affliction that makes life harder for people over the age of 60 is selected FOR, not against, by evolution. There are hundreds of ways your genes are going to try to kill you off.

    And as a result, of all the billions and billions of people who have ever lived, not a single one has ever made it to the age of 125.

    And so the prospect of having too many people by greatly extending longevity is minimal. A low global birthrate is good enough.

  7. mouse says:

    It’s dem there damn immigrants out breeding us regular people

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