We are so selfish that we can’t even be bothered to have babies. Ours is a country that is rotting from the inside.
Lyman Stone, an economist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, writes at Medium about what he’s calling “the great baby bust of 2017.”
The latest official estimate—taken from two-year-old data—puts the U.S. fertility rate at 1.84. In other words, the average American woman will have just under two children in her lifetime. This is well below the replacement rate, or the average number of children necessary to keep a country’s population from declining.
But as Stone argues, this estimate is already hopelessly out-of-date. Using monthly birth data from 2016 and 2017, he suggests the birth rate in America has plummeted to somewhere near 1.77 births on average. His graph of American fertility since 2008 looks like a double diamond ski slope.
Millennials—who right now are in their prime childbearing years—are the ones mainly driving this downhill trend. Not only are they getting married at lower rates than their parents did, but they’re having fewer children total. Many struggle to find stable work, are too focused on their careers, and find themselves saddled with college debt. Others just don’t like kids, or vastly overestimate the cost of raising them, or just think the world is overpopulated—a myth now thoroughly debunked, by the way.
Whatever the reason, young adults are choosing to keep their nests mostly empty. And this is bad news for our economy, our culture, and our future as a nation.
As Weekly Standard digital editor Jonathan Last writes in his book, “What to Expect When No One’s Expecting,” countries where citizens aren’t having enough babies can look forward to long-term economic stagnation and social deterioration. “There is no economy that has managed to knock out gangbuster growth with a declining population,” he told The Atlantic, recently.
Literally, the fate of the country depends on people having children and we won’t. Ironically, we are a sex-soaked culture. But no babies. We can thank the Pill, Planned Parenthood, and the me-culture for that.
Party on America. Last call might be rough.
HT Big Pulpit