18.05.18 Fertility Rate

May 18, 2018


American women are having children at the LOWEST rate on record.

The number of babies born last year hit a 30-year low despite a strong economy & a larger female population of child-bearing age –_dumbfounding researchers.

Why It’s Surprising

Last year, the birthrate even declined for women in their 30s, a shocker after rates had been rising as more women delayed pregnancy.

The only group to see a higher birthrate was women in their 40s.

Baby booms typically follow economic booms, but the fertility rate hasn’t recovered since 2010.

“Every year I look at data & expect it will be the year that birthrates start to tick up, and every year we hit another all-time low. It’s one of the big demographic mysteries of recent times.”

Kenneth Johnson, University of New Hampshire Demographer

Why It Matters

Fewer babies means less young workers to pay into Social Security & Medicare for an aging population.

It may also affect the workplace with too few workers for jobs that need to be filled.

In the U.S., declines in rates haven’t led to drops in population, mainly due to immigration.

More than 3.8M babies were born in the U.S. last year, but last year’s drop in the nation’s birth rate (about 2%) is the largest drop since 2010. And while there’s no need to be alarmed yet, researchers point to Japan’s “demographic time bomb” on why this matters. Read more here.

by Jenna Lee,