Population Implosion? Even US fertility rates are at lower than replacement level

In Iran the Ayatollah Khamenei has announced his 14 point plan (or directive) to try and revive the fertlity rate which is at a potentially catastrophic low. In the US, Hispanic fertility rates have – in recent times – held the fertility rate up just above the replacement level of 2.1. In China the one-child policy has been withdrawn as population has reached its peak and will now decline significantly. In country after country, fertility rates are lower than the replenishment rate. In half the states in India the rate is already below 2.1. By 2050 the total Indian population will start to decline. Generally improvement in living standards with more attention to women’s rights are accompanied by a sharp decline in fertility rates. Now however, the recession is being blamed for the decline in the US.

Till 2100 the main demographic challenge is increasingly going to be the long term decline in fertility and the increasing proportion of the “aged” relative to the working population.

US TFR - Washington Examiner

US TFR – Washington Examiner

Washington Examiner:

U.S. fertility is not recovering from the financial crisis — and demographers aren’t sure why. The fertility rate fell to a record low 62.9 births per 1,000 women aged 15-44 in 2013, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

The total number of births, at 3.96 million, inched up by a mere 4,000 from 2012, the first increase since the financial crisis. But the total fertility rate, or TFR, the average number of children a woman would have during her child-bearing years, fell to just 1.86, the lowest rate in 27 years. TFR is considered the best metric of fertility. A TFR of 2.1 represents a stable population, with children replacing parents as they die off.

Demographers expected the fertility rate to fall during recession, as financially strapped families put off childbearing. But what has surprised some demographers is both the depth of the decline and the fact that fertility has continued to drop even over the course of the country’s five years of slow but steady recovery. The rate has fallen steadily each year since 2007, when it stood at 2.1 …….. 

One foreseen factor behind the dropoff in childbearing is the rapid decline in Hispanic-American fertility.

 For several decades, high Hispanic childbearing has been driving U.S. population growth. White fertility has been under the 2.1 replacement rate for decades, and ranged from 1.7 to 1.9 in the 2000s. The TFR for black Americans first fell below 2.1 in the early 2000s. 

But the number of children per Hispanic-American woman has plummeted from just under three in 1990 and 2.7 as recently as 2008 to 2.19 in 2012, just above the replacement rate.

That decline has been mirrored in other Hispanic countries. Mexico’s TFR has fallen precipitously, from 6.7 in 1970 to 2.2 in 2012, according to the World Bank. A similar decline has taken place in El Salvador, and to a lesser extent Honduras and Guatemala, all three prominent countries of origin for American Hispanics. ….


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