U.S. Birth Rate Falls to Lowest Ever, Fewer Babies is Bad News

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 30, 2012   |   11:57AM   |   Washington, DC

The Pew research center is out with new data showing the birth rate in the United States has fallen to its lowest point ever. Although Pew doesn’t say it, the abortion culture Roe v. Wade has produced is already causing problems, according to one pro-life opinion columnist.

Overall, the birth rate in the United States plunged 8 percent from 2007 to 2010. With new figures from the CDC showing the abortion numbers falling 5% from 2008-2009, the birth rate is not falling because more women are having abortions.

Pew indicates he U.S. birth rate dipped in 2011 to the lowest ever recorded, with its record going back to 1920. The new preliminary data indicates the overall birth rate in 2011 was 63.2 per 1,000. Those numbers are a drop of nearly half of the births during the peak of the Baby Boom which recorded 122.7 per 1,000 in 1957.

One of the biggest drops was seen in the birth rate for women born in other countries, dropping 14 percent from 2007 to 2010. The birthrate among Mexican women fell 23 percent in the same time period.

Last year, net immigration from Mexico fell to zero for the first time since the Great Depression. And those immigrants already here are choosing to have far fewer children.

Pro-life columnist Linda Chavez bemoans the new numbers in a column today.

“For years, population hysterics have tried to convince Americans to aim not just for zero population growth in the U.S. but its complete reversal,” she said. “Many of the groups pushing this view have also been in the forefront of the anti-immigration movement — NumbersUSA, Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and Negative Population Growth (NPG). They don’t like immigrants — even legal ones — because immigrants, especially Hispanic immigrants, traditionally have had higher birth rates than the native born. But the new report from the Pew Research Center suggests that even among Hispanic immigrants, birth rates are falling quickly. So why is this a problem?”

“Contrary to the agenda pushed by the aforementioned neo-Malthusian groups, a declining population can spell real economic trouble in the future. As populations in advanced countries age, more people become dependents rather than contributors to the economy. Especially in nations that provide a social safety net, such as Social Security and Medicare in the U.S., the ability to fund these programs depends on population growth among younger, working-age people,” Chavez writes.

The pro-life writer says one of the problems of a lower birth rate is that there will be fewer tax dollars coming in to pay for government programs and services.



“As the base of taxpayers shrinks, the government will either have to reduce benefits and spending on essential programs or take a larger share of workers’ incomes to pay for them. But the latter approach — raising taxes — will only make the problem worse. If people get to keep less of the money they earn, productivity declines and revenues fall. It’s human nature,” she notes.

“Other countries with declining birthrates, most notably Japan, are paying the price already,” she said. “Economic growth in these countries has slowed — Japan, once considered a threat to American economic dominance, has experienced two decades of slowed growth. It is no coincidence that Japan also has one of the world’s strictest immigration policies. They allow temporary workers but neither their integration nor the granting of citizenship to their children born on Japanese soil.”