America isn’t replacing itself. For the Colson Center, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.
Writing at Medium, economist Lyman Stone forecasts the fertility rate in America for 2017 at 1.77. That’s down from 1.82 in 2015, and continues the downward trend.
What do these numbers mean? Well, every country needs a fertility rate of 2.3. Any fewer than that, and the population shrinks and ages. And if you discount immigration, the U.S. population is doing exactly that.
The 2008 recession is over, but the fertility rate hasn’t recovered. If Stone is right, we’re currently seeing the lowest birth rate since the end of the baby boom era.
To see where this is headed, look at Europe, or better yet, Japan, where a “demographic time bomb” has cost trillions in GDP and created a cycle of despair, overwork, and is even associated with less sex! Which, of course, means fewer babies.
The numbers suggest that children are a blessing. Wait, I remember reading that somewhere…….