The latest statistics measuring the American birth rate and total births have been released, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s report paint a dark demographic picture.
The 3.788 million births that took place in 2018 were the lowest that had occurred in a single year since 1986. The birth rate, or average number of children born per woman, continued to decline as well, following a demographic pattern that has been carrying on for many years.
The birth rate declined by 2% to 1.7. A national birth rate of less than 2.0 creates a situation where a population isn’t having enough children to replace itself.
Some demographers and researchers had forecast a rise in the American birthrate as elements of the economy improved over the past few years. However, it seems the economic system of the United States isn’t enabling or encouraging more young Americans to become parents, even though it’s nominally improving.
Demographers ascribe multiple factors to the lowered birth rate among the American population. More women are postponing having children in order to pursue a career or higher education, and economic insecurity is leaving many Americans who would otherwise become parents to opt out, at last temporarily.
Permissive abortion laws also lead a considerable percentage of pregnancies in the United States to end in termination.
A demographic winter will create consequences for all generations of Americans as time progresses. It will become more difficult for the United States to fund healthcare and social security programs as the Boomer generation progresses into retirement age, and other American adults will face the uncertain prospect of a country with less people than it had when they came into it-unless immigration is enough of a demographic factor to grow the population of the United States in its own right, which creates its own set of societal dysfunction and problems.
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