Call it the Obama birth dearth. While the immigrant-fueled birthrate of the United States had recently been fairly robust, it has now dropped below replacement level. And demographers are unsure as to why. Writes Joseph Lawler at Washington Examiner:
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.
... [T]he 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 percent.
One factor in the fertility decline demographers did foresee was a falling birth rate among Hispanics in America.
Read the rest here.