America’s Fertility Rate Falls To Record Low

The US isn’t yet grappling with the economic disaster that is a shrinking popuation – unlike Japan. Though it’s starting to look like a not-too-distant possibility. US birthrates fell to yet another historic low in 2016 as a whirlwind of economic and cultural factors inspire more women to delay, or forgo, having children. According to provisional data for the fourth quarter provided by the CDC, the US birthrate has declined to 62 births per 1000 women – its lowest level on record, and down from 62.5 in 2015.
This is especially troubling because demographers worry that a dwindling birth rate will hurt economic growth and tax revenues needed to fund transfer payments to a growing elderly population, as more members of the baby boomer generation age into retire.
The CDC did not say why the birth rate is declining. But according to Axios, research and surveys have shown several reasons, including wider availability of birth control, personal economic instability from student loans or other debt, women focused on launching a career before starting a family, and a growing acceptance that not everyone wants to have children.
If the Trump administration achieves higher economic growth, it’s unlikely to do so fast enough to support the mandated 9% increase in entitlement spending for older Americans without more deficit spending. Trump says he intends to preserve Social Security and Medicare spending levels. The highest birthrates are now seen among women aged 30-34. Previously, the highest rate had been for women aged 25-29, which fell to 101.9 in 2016.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 30, 2017.