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U.S. Winning War Against The Young: Birth Rate Plunges

Pew has some ugly U.S. demographics numbers in a new report out yesterday:

The overall U.S. birth rate, which is the annual number of births per 1,000 women in the prime childbearing ages of 15 to 44, declined 8% from 2007 to 2010. The birth rate for U.S.-born women decreased 6% during these years, but the birth rate for foreign-born women plunged 14%—more than it had declined over the entire 1990-2007 period. The birth rate for Mexican immigrant women fell even more, by 23%.

Final 2011 data are not available, but according to preliminary data from the National Center for Health Statistics, the overall birth rate in 2011 was 63.2 per 1,000 women of childbearing age. That rate is the lowest since at least 1920, the earliest year for which there are reliable numbers. The overall U.S. birth rate peaked most recently in the Baby Boom years, reaching 122.7 in 1957, nearly double today’s rate. The birth rate sagged through the mid-1970s but stabilized at 65-70 births per 1,000 women for most years after that before falling again after 2007, the beginning of the Great Recession.

The falling birth rate is a sign that American society is failing one of its essential tasks: we are failing to provide an environment that allows a new generation to begin building families and bringing their children into the world. Between crippling debt burdens and relatively high unemployment, young people are opting out of starting families.

America is winning the war against young. Unfortunately, this is one war we should lose.

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