Birth Rate fall threatens U.S. solvency

Job participation rates are not the only thing falling this year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States fertility rate has also fallen to a record low of 63.0 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44 years old. This rate is even lower than the rate of 63.2 in 2011.

Birth rate falls for fifth straight year.

Unfortunately, this year is not the first year the birth rate has fallen. The United States government has been tracking birth rates since 1909 and last year was the lowest rate on record, falling for the last five years down from 69.3 in 2007.

Why do we care about the birth rate? According to experts, the decline in the birth rate is a drag on the U.S. economy. If individuals fail to have enough children we are likely to have a shortage of young workers to join the U.S. workforce in the next 18 to 20 years. Reports indicate that it will take at least 2.1 children per woman for the U.S. population to replace itself, a rate which we have not seen since 2007. Currently women are birthing an average of 1.88 children in their lifetime.

The birth rate has been dropping since the post-World War II baby boom, but in times of financial crisis, such as the Great Recession, individuals are also less likely to try to have children. Experts note it’s not just the economy but the effects of the economy.

For instance, many college age individuals who are unable to get a great job after graduating not only delay moving out of their parent’s home but also delay getting married and starting a family. For instance, according to the Pew Research Center, approximately 22% of 18-to-34-year-olds surveyed claimed to have delayed having a child due to their financial condition.

Is there any good news about birth rates?

Although Pew Research also notes that currently 36% of Millennials ages 18 to 31 still lived at home with their parents, there is some evidence that the declining birth rate may be “leveling off.”  In fact, some of the top businesses who market baby products such as Fisher-Price, Gerber and Procter & Gamble claim that their data indicates that birth rates are likely to rise in 2013.

Experts also claim that birth rates are lagging behind other “economic indicators” and it’s likely that we have not seen the birth patterns change yet, but soon we will. Other research indicates that birth rates may have declined, especially for women in their 20s, but women over the age of 30 have started having more children, especially Asians and Pacific Islanders.

United States faces bankruptcy with a declining birth rate

What is the greatest impact of a country who fails to reproduce? One need look no further than Greece, Italy or Spain to see what the cost might be. What happens when the U.S. has a rapidly aging population with no productive workers to pay for generous pensions and other welfare-state provisions? The answer is clear even if we refuse to do anything about it- the United States is likely to teeter on the verge of bankruptcy for many more years to come.

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Beth

Beth L. is a content writer for Better Bankruptcy. Good content and information is one of many methods we utilize to bring you the answers you need.