Declining birth rates in the U.S. by millennials oppose the narrative that the economy has recovered
Over the past 100 years there have been three periods where fertility rates in the U.S. dropped to dangerous levels, and each one took place at a time when America was in the midst of, or just getting out of, an economic crisis.
Beginning with the Great Depression of the 1930’s, and followed again by the eras of stagflation in the 1970’s and of course the more recent Great Recession of 2009-10, these three periods saw birth rates fall to levels that either equaled, or went below the necessary amount of births required to retain the population at current levels.
Yet perhaps even more disturbing is that for the millennial generation, their desires not to have children are being coupled with several other social and economic factors which include a abhorrence to marriage, and a limited desire to achieve¬†materialistic or monetary success.
Negative Population Growth, Inc., has issued a November¬†report¬†warning that¬†America is no longer making enough babies to keep pace with deaths.¬†The report blames, the¬†‚Äėbaby bust‚Äô phase¬†on the millennial generation (1980-2000), who are¬†having children at record low rates.
Their attitudes towards¬†marriage, procreation, and materialism changed dramatically after the Great Recession when the economies of the world came to a screeching halt.¬†After a decade of excessive monetary policy from the Federal Reserve. The millennials have been forced to take out an excessive amount of debt such as auto loans, consumer debt, and student loans in an era of wage stagnation. This has fundamentally changed the game for millennials and perhaps changed the course of the United States. The implications of falling birth rates in a low growth economic environment coupled with massive amounts of debt – is a perfect storm that will lead to the next crisis.
Falling birth rates in the United States have been classified of what some call the ‚Äėbaby bust‚Äô.¬†Like any bubble, there must be a bust cycle and when it comes to births in the United States ‚ÄĒ that time, is now. According to the report, some demographers are ‚Äúfreaked out by the falling birth rate,¬†an occupational hazard for people who spend their professional lives scrutinizing population statistics‚ÄĚ. As the demographic winds shift, the United States is preparing for a ‚ÄėJapanification‚Äô period of lower birth rates and a much old generation to strain the economic and healthcare systems.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,¬†the number of babies born declined by 338,000 or 8.7% between 2007 and 2016. Over the period, the national fertility rate declined from 69.3 to a historic low of 62.0 in 2016. For more color, the peak was in 1960 at 118 after World war II, ever since it‚Äôs been in decline. –¬†Zerohedge
Unlike the economic boom of the 1950’s in the U.S. following their victory in World War II, American families did not manifest a ‘baby boom’ in the 1980’s when the economy skyrocketed following the stagflation of the 1970’s.¬† And one has to wonder if there will be a repeat of history for the generation coming after the millennials just as there was for young families following the war and Great Depression because if not, then America is now set on a course of population decline, and this decline could very easily lead to a collapse of culture within just a few generations.
Kenneth Schortgen Jr¬†is¬†a writer for¬†The Daily Economist,¬†Secretsofthefed.com,¬†Roguemoney.net, and¬†Viral Liberty, and hosts¬†the popular¬†youtube podcast¬†on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.¬†Ken can also¬†be heard Wednesday afternoons giving an weekly economic report on the¬†Angel Clark radio show.