Blog #678 American Birthrate drops (again)

US Birth Rate drops (again)

Recent statistic show that the American Birth Rate has following again.

“The number of babies born in the U.S. last year fell to a 32-year low, deepening a fertility slump that is reshaping America’s future workforce.

About 3.79 million babies were born in the U.S. in 2018, according to provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. That was a 2% decline from the previous year and marked the fourth year in a row that the number fell. The general fertility rate—the number of births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44—fell to 59.0, the lowest rate in 32 years.

Researchers suggest what might be happening

-1 Teenagers and unmarried women having fewer babies

-2 Lower fertility rates among Hispanic women

-3 An uptick in women getting bachelor’s degrees  

-4 Expanded use of long-acting contraceptives like IUDs

Another analysis says:

“The total fertility rate—the estimated number of children born to each woman over her lifetime—fell to 1.7 (a 2.1 fertility rate indicates a 1-1 generational replacement). If it dips further without a bump in immigration, it could lead to a workforce that’s too small to support the country’s retirees.

We aren’t doing our job in replenishing the population.  (My wife and I had two children – slightly under the 2.1 fertility replacement rate – we found it hard to have 0.1 more children!!).  But of our offspring, our daughter had two children and our son had three children – so on the average, our children have a 2.5 replacement rate!!!

And, for comparison – Japan has a replacement rate of 1.4.  (There are now more elderly diapers sold in Japan than baby diapers!!! – Think on that!!)

This has a lot of interesting theoretical questions. What if the younger generation is (as predicted) too small to support our retirees? (Like me)

Will there be enough nurses, doctors, and other personnel to take care of us ‘baby boomers’?  

Well some thoughts:

-1  Allow more immigration

-2  Encourage more children with higher tax deductions

-3  Further restrict abortions

-4  Move more to a robotic workforce

Currently the US government is fighting an immigrant ‘flood’ by considering building a wall along the Mexican border.  Option #1 seems to be politically incorrect currently

Higher tax deductions for children.  What if you could deduct (say) $20,000 per child a year – would those of childbearing age consider more children?

Abortion is a hot topic – and I want to stay out of that – other than this thought.  Have a national fund to support pregnant mothers and make adoption a very workable solution – like extra tax advantages to NOT abort and to adopt.

The last option seems to be coming – robotic workers.  Is that the solution? Can my “robotic” doctor help me like a human doctor?  

At age 71, I am more of the problem than the solution!!!  

What do you think?


Posted by Bruce White

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