Less Babies

  By Isaac Cohen*

                  The number of persons born in the United States decreased last year, for the fourth year in a row, to the lowest level in three decades. The National Center for Health Statistics revealed, last week, that the number of births decreased 2 percent in 2018, from 2017, the lowest level since 1986. The fertility rate, an estimate of the number of children born to every woman, also fell in 2018 to 1,728 births per 1,000 women, the lowest in a century, since the start of record keeping in 1909. This figure is lower than the rate of population replacement, estimated at 2,1  births per woman.

                  Therefore, the United States has joined the ranks of other advanced economies, such as Canada, the European Union and Japan, which are experiencing even more acute levels of demographic   contraction. 

                  One factor which contributed to this reduction is that more women in their twenties postponed having children. The birth rate among this age segment, after the Great Recession, was down by around 4 percent.  Additionally, in 2018, there was a positive reduction of 7 percent in teen age pregnancies and a slight increase in birthrates among women between 35 and 44 years old.

                  A major concern about this decreasing trend is that it coincides with an aging population and with the retirement of the baby boomer   generation, together with a reduction in the size of the labor force, amid a shortage of immigrants, caused by the adoption of “restrictionist” policies.

  *International analyst and consultant, former Director ECLAC Washington. Commentator on economic and financial issues for CNN en Español TV and radio, UNIVISION, TELEMUNDO and other media.

About Ramón Jiménez

Ramón Jiménez, Managing Editor de MetroLatinoUSA.Com (MLN). Graduado de la Escuela de Periodismo de la Universidad del Distrito de Columbia (UDC). Email: [email protected]

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