You know that magic 2.1 number demographic wonks like and snoot about American exceptionalism? Well ...
Twenty-somethings who postponed having babies because of the poor economy are still hesitant to jump in to parenthood — an unexpected consequence that has dropped the USA's birthrate to its lowest point in 25 years.That last bit is very interesting in that it ties in a couple of things the demographics wonks have been whispering.
As the economy tanked, the average number of births per woman fell 12% from a peak of 2.12 in 2007. Demographic Intelligence projects the rate to hit 1.87 this year and 1.86 next year — the lowest since 1987.
The less-educated and Hispanics have experienced the biggest birthrate decline while the share of U.S. births to college-educated, non-Hispanic whites and Asian Americans has grown.
The old template was the poor and their litters of children - but there is a shift in many places towards more than two kids is seen as a luxury - something for those who have the money to afford it. Are we seeing a shift?
There is also the trend towards the more religious having more children. I think a few years ago I made the little remark that when you combine demographics and culture - stand by for the Mormon, and Southern Baptist military of 2150.
Anyway, good article. Read it all and compare it to some of the plans others are making based on old data.
The U.S. fertility rate has been the envy of the developed world because it has remained close to the replacement rate of 2.1 (the number of children each woman must have to maintain current population) for more than 20 years.Of course, fold in to that to first and second generation inner marriage .... always question your and others assumptions.
Asian and European countries, where fertility rates are as low as 1.1 (Taiwan) and 1.3 (Portugal), are worried about their populations aging and not having enough young workers to support them.
Immigration has helped the USA maintain higher birthrates, but that segment has been hard hit by this downturn. The birthrate for Hispanics tumbled from 3 in 2007 to less than 2.4 in 2010, the latest official government statistics.
Hispanic immigration has slowed, and studies show some immigrants have returned home.
"That's going to have an effect," says Carl Haub, demographer at the Population Reference Bureau. "Their overall proportions of births are enormous — roughly 25% of the U.S. total."