The birth rate in the United States is continuing to drop – a trend that one population analyst warns could lead to an unstable future.
A government report shows that births among young women – as well as women in their 30s – have declined once again, resulting in the fewest number of babies being born in three decades.
Jonathan Abbamonte of the Population Research Institute points to one factor that is currently helping to prop up the birth rate in America.
“We still have a robust migration into this country, so they're helping keep our population afloat and stable – keeping our working-age population stable enough that we don't have to worry too much,” Abbamonte explained.
This influx of newcomers into the U.S. is curbing the problem – at least for now.
Immigrants – legal or otherwise – provide 25 percent of the total new births each year. Another factor is shifting attitudes about motherhood. Women – whether for the sake of their careers or not – are waiting to have children … and then have fewer children.
“In order safeguard our future economic growth, the postponed births have to be just that,” Abbamonte argued. “They can't be foregone births entirely, because by foregoing births that they have postponed, you're going to see a decline in the total fertility rate.”
The problem can be seen when noticing that the birth rate in 2007 was 2.1 per U.S. woman and comparing it to last year – just a decade later – when it dipped to 1.8. This goes to show that America is getting further away from producing enough children to replace the population.
The impact of this downward spiral in the U.S. population could become serious as time goes by – just as it has in China and Japan.