Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Prosperity and Babies

From Return to Order:
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the 2017 fertility rates reached a forty-year low. The rate now stands at 1.76 lifetime births per women. This is well below the 2.1 births needed for population replacement. This is also the second year in a row that it has dropped to a record low.

The decline reflects all major population groups. In fact, the steepest decline is recorded among minority women. All age categories, except those over 40, saw significant drops in birthrates. Even the age thirty category, which normally reflects deferred childbearing saw significant decline. In fact, nearly one in five births now occurs to women 35 or older, when childbirth is riskier. This trend signifies lower rates and also a lowering of the actual number of babies born. There are 500,000 fewer babies in 2017 than there were in 2007. At the same time, there are seven percent more women of prime-childbearing age today.

This great plunge in births is happening just when it is not needed. A booming economy needs more people, not less. It needs bigger populations in countries that are trading partners. Thus, the even worse birthrates in Italy, Spain, Japan, China and other industrialized countries are ominous signs of disaster. The present boom has no future if populations everywhere are not replenished. That is why demographers are perplexed by the low birthrates in full prosperity. The normal rule of more babies seems to be broken. Mentalities have changed. (Read more.)

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