Last updated on November 3rd, 2023 at 09:17 am
The United States is grappling with a concerning trend of falling fertility rates, which experts have warned could have a significant and potentially calamitous impact on the nation’s economy. According to data from the CDC, the U.S. birth rate has witnessed a sharp decline of 22% between 2007 and 2022, with not a single state reporting an increase in birth rates. While some states experienced a slower decline, the overarching pattern mirrors that of other developed nations globally, as the U.S. and other such nations have dipped below the replacement rate, indicating an inability to sustain, let alone grow, their populations.
Demographic strategist Bradley Schurman pointed out that currently, three-quarters of U.S. counties and half of the states are witnessing more deaths than births, accentuating the gravity of the situation. Institute for Family Studies senior fellow Brad Wilcox mentioned that the consequences are already becoming evident, leading to school closures, reduced college enrollments, a dwindling workforce, fewer consumers, and insufficient tax revenue for entitlements.
Furthermore, declining and delayed marriage rates play a role in the plummeting birth rates. Demographic Intelligence chief information officer Lyman Stone explained that the postponement of marriage is a contributing factor, as income, homeownership, and savings are occurring later in life. This trend can make it difficult for people to have children when they finally feel ready, ultimately resulting in lower birth rates.
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, has also sounded the alarm on the declining birth rates, categorizing them as one of the most significant threats to civilization. Musk highlighted the misconception of overpopulation and pointed out that birth rate trends are pointing towards a population collapse.
Schurman’s projection suggests that the U.S. population is expected to decline in the coming decades, with minimal growth primarily attributed to immigration. This shift will significantly impact the economy, especially in rural areas already experiencing rapid population aging and decline.
In a Gallup poll conducted in September, the desire for having three or more children was found to be at its highest levels since the 1970s. Stone suggested that lawmakers could encourage marriage and child-rearing by addressing issues such as marriage penalties and housing costs. By making it more feasible for people to marry and start families, it is possible to tap into the increasing desire for larger families among the population.