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U.S. Birth Rate? 1.9

Good news for those who think the greatest danger to the world is people. The United States of America is slowing it's birth rate just as European countries have been doing for decades so that now Americans are officially not even replacing themselves.

Birth rates in America are officially the lowest ever recorded.

For every two people Americans are having 1.9 children. Good luck with all those entitlements like Social Security.

Time Magazine reports:

New numbers released by the U.S. government on Tuesday show record-low birth rates in 2011: the general fertility rate (63.2 per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44) was the lowest ever recorded; the birth rate for teenagers ages 15 to 19 declined; birth rates for women ages 20 to 24 hit a record low; and rates for Hispanic and non-Hispanic black women dipped. Some birth rates remained unchanged, like those of women in their late 40s. Only women ages 35 to 39 and 40 to 44 are more likely to have babies now than in the past.

The data are part of a broader post–financial crash trend. Every year since 2007, when the number of births in the U.S. hit 4.3 million, Americans have brought fewer babies into the world. Much of that has to do with the recession: Americans apparently decided that they couldn’t afford to have as many kids in an unstable economy, even if they were married.

Such declines are typical during economic crises. During the Great Depression, birth rates dropped significantly, and the same thing happened during the stagnation of the 1970s. “We’ve seen this previously throughout the last 100 years,” says Mark Mather, a demographer for the Population Reference Bureau. “Fertility rates drop in periods of economic stress.”

It appears that the decline in birth rates has at least begun to slow, likely reflecting the fact that Americans are feeling more confident about their economic future. The birth rate fell by 1% in 2011, as opposed to the 2% and 3% drops in prior years.

Even so, the trend toward fewer births is likely to continue over the long term, mirroring what’s been going on overseas for decades. “I would suspect that fertility rates over the long term would start to resemble those of Europe,” says Mather.

Europe’s birth rates have been declining for decades, especially in its most economically stable country. Germany’s rate — 1.36 children per woman — is the lowest in all of Europe and one of the lowest in the world. There were fewer German births in 2011 than at any other time recorded.

Even before the euro crisis, experts were sounding the alarm over Europe’s gloomy demographic future. How is the continent supposed to take care of an aging population when its birth rates are pointing toward a shrinking workforce in the decades to come?

The U.S. rate hasn’t fallen to European levels yet. The birth rate of children per woman in the U.S. is about 1.9. But the downward trend will almost certainly force the U.S. to rethink how to financially support the elderly and fund programs like Social Security and Medicare, ongoing economic debates that will take on even more weight as the country ages.

*subhead*The United States of Europe.*subhead*

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Me :) said...

I'd be curious to see a state by state breakdown, as my home state seems to have many 2-4 child families. It would make for interesting reading.

Sophia's Favorite said...

The rate is "children per woman", so you also have to take into account how many women aren't having children at all, not just the number of children the ones with children do have.

Martha said...

Check it out! Found a map of US birth rates per 1,000 women.


Martha said...

Upon looking more closely at that map, unless I'm reading it incorrectly, the actual numbers go from .09 to 1.9 (the high end is only in Utah, definitely not an average). At a quick glance, it looks like the average is much more like Europe's 1.3.

Good luck with that.

My kids are going to be so confused when they get out in the world, as we revolve around other homeschooling Catholics, and we, at 7, have the least of any of the families we hang with! :D

federoff11 said...

Slackers, I tell you! We're expecting #11 in a few weeks! :-)

When people make commentary I tell them one of my many punchlines: "Hey, all with my husband, since we got married, and ALL on our nickel, so its not your business!"

"Don't worry, they'll be paying YOUR social security one day!"

"Overpopulation? Buddy, in pure Darwinian terms... we're kicking your @ss!"


Dirtdartwife said...

I, too, must be in totally different circles because of the vast majority of our friends, the smallest family has 5 kids, the largest has 10. Most have 6.

Foxfier said...

We're working on it!

Sadly, looks like my husband and I will end up having the most kids of anyone but the cousins that met while on a Catholic mission... and I think they only have four, so we've got a chance of passing them.

What the heck do you expect when people act like a married 19 year old having a kid is the same as a 13 year old having a kid?

Tito Edwards said...

Good, so practicing Catholic families will contribute to the process of turning American into a Catholic nation.


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