America’s Population Is Now On The Decline Following New Report
America’s population is now officially on the decline. The news comes on the heels of a new National Vital Statistics report published last Thursday finding fertility rates to be in crisis mode. It has been 30 years since fertility rates were this dire. At this juncture, Americans are not having enough babies to replace our population. So, we’re shrinking as a herd.
The worse news is that we aren’t even close to replacement. In fact, our fertility rate was 16% below the necessary number to replace itself back in 2017. Utah and North Dakota were among only two states that are above the threshold for replacement.
The absurdity in the numbers comes to light when we consider that women are giving birth much later in life than in decades past. Experts in the field are blaming student loan debts and economic issues on the decline. The theory is that childcare is too costly.
“This is basically a continuation of what we saw last year, and really, the last couple of years,” Dr. Karen Guzzo, the associate director of the Center for Family & Demographic Research at Bowling Green State University, said. “What’s more surprising is that over the longer term, we kind of expected that after the Great Recession has supposedly disappeared and we are doing much better, fertility rates would start to pick up, and they haven’t.”
Even though Guzzo notes Americas’ vastly improved economy, she still seems to pin things on it.
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“They really haven’t recovered as much as we had expected, and I think that suggests a lot about how people feel in terms of their own personal lives and how secure they feel. It’s not just the global or national economic or GDP numbers, it’s, ‘Can I pay my bills, can I pay my student loans, can I buy a house, is my job secure? Do I have a strong relationship and can I maintain that?’ So people go through a lot of uncertainty,” she said. “I really think that those characteristics haven’t improved as much over the last 10 years, and that’s probably what’s going on here.”
Back in November of 2017, NBC news ran a piece that pushed for population control as a measure to help curb the effects of proposed climate change. If fertility rates continue to dwindle, it would seem the “population control” effect is occurring naturally and without such suggested government intervention.
Experts are waiting for the numbers to begin to rise again, but year after year, they are sorely disappointed.
However, one has to question if those concerned with climate change are somewhat pleased with the downtrend.
Low Fertility Rates And Our New Culture
The fact is, having kids just isn’t as popular as it was at one time. Many millennials want to live more self-centered lives. They see children as disruptions to things like vacations, purchasing new goods, or an active nightlife. Some do not want an interruption in their career (a NYTimes article explored this phenomenon in-depth).
Pharmaceutical Medications And Infertility
Another issue could be that our society is increasingly medicated. In fact, the use of SSRI, or anti-depressants, is strongly linked to infertility. Why the article doesn’t approach this topic is a little bewildering considering that SSRI use in the United States is massive.
There is little doubt that the United States is experiencing a cultural shift. And little doubt that lower birthrates are linked to economic issues, whether real or just perception based. But its difficult to ignore the overmedication of our culture as a potential contributing factor. Yet, somehow we do exactly that.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.