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The Wall Street Journal reports that the United States is seeing a decline in the national birthrate, with "the annual number of births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44" down eight percent between 2007 and 2010.

The reason seems to be "a steep decline in births among immigrant women hard hit by the recent recession." In addition, the story says, a slowdown in immigration has affected the birth rate.

The Journal writes: "Immigrant women, both legal and illegal, still have a higher birthrate than the U.S. population as a whole. Yet the rate for foreign-born women dropped 14% between 2007 and 2010, to 87.8 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44, compared with a 6% decline for U.S.-born women, to 58.9 births. The birthrate plunged 19% for immigrants of Hispanic origin during that period; among Mexicans, the largest group among Hispanics, the rate plunged 23%."
KC's View:
Another paragraph worth noting:

"Over the long term, nations tend to see their birthrates decline as they become more prosperous, a trend that can threaten that prosperity. When low fertility is coupled with low mortality, the result is an aging society with a high proportion of elderly people and relatively fewer workers to support them, a situation that Japan and many European countries face. Overall U.S. fertility has remained around the replacement level, owing to the large number of immigrants it attracts."

Indeed, if we have an economy driven by consumer demand, if there are fewer consumers in the long term there inevitably will be lower demand.

It is hard to reconcile two statements from the story - one saying that people are having fewer kids because of the recession, and the other saying that birth rates decline when the nation gets more prosperous. I also think that if anyone reads this story and thinks that a slowdown in the birth rate among immigrants somehow means that the nation will become less ethnically diverse, they are sadly mistaken.