Friday, November 30, 2012

Birth rate as gloom indicator

The birth rate in the United States has hit a record low, which is particularly unfortunate insofar as our long-term budgetary woes have everything to do with demographics (not that you will hear many politicians or pundit admit that). The reason for the decline has to do with the economy's lack of enterprise:

In 2011, the overall birth rate was 63.2 per 1,000 women of childbearing age, the lowest since at least 1920, Pew reported, citing numbers from the National Center for Health Statistics. The birth rate reached 122.7 in 1957, the peak of the Baby Boom. After the mid-1970s, the birth rate stabilized at about 65 to 70 births per 1,000 women annually, until the beginning of the Great Recession.

Since 2007, both the U.S. birth rate (the number of live births per 1,000 women ages 15-44) and the number of births have dropped significantly, according to the report.

And yet, here we are making free birth control another entitlement. I understand the logic, and yet I see the irony.

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