December 4th, 2014
The U.S. economy, already struggling with stagnant wages and lackluster spending, faces another obstacle to growth: missing babies.
The nation’s fertility rate edged down last year to a record low, the latest notch in a long decline made worse by the recent recession. For every 1,000 women of childbearing age, there were just 62.5 births, down from 63 births in 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Lower fertility means less growth in the U.S. population, barring an increase in immigration, which is only slowly picking up. That means fewer workers to propel the economy and a smaller tax base to finance benefits for the elderly. The trend also promises to weigh on consumer spending, which fuels two-thirds of economic activity; if fewer women have children, there’s less buying of diapers, school supplies and homes to accommodate growing families.
You don’t say? That sounds interesting. Someone should write a book about it.
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