retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

The Washington Post has a story about how “new data about the country’s collapsing fertility rates has emerged,” while “concern has deepened over what’s causing the changes, whether it constitutes a crisis that will fundamentally change the demographic trajectory of the country — and what should be done about it.”

The story notes that “fertility and birthrates are among the most closely monitored indicators of a country’s economic health. When too high, a surging youth population might be unable to find work and become susceptible to unrest. When too low, economies can rapidly contract, and a small working-age population has to support a large retired population. The United States is somewhat more buffered because of its relatively high levels of immigration, but if the decline in fertility continues, demographers say, the country may face an extreme population imbalance in the future.”

The Post writes about how there are a variety of possible causes for the drop in fertility rates. It could be culture; people just don’t see getting married and having children with the same enthusiasm anymore. It could be the economic; some blame “less-than-generous parental leave and pay policies.” It could be scientific; “recent medical journal publications have indicated that exposure to pollutants might be harming reproductive health, including the motility and quantity of sperm, which could delay childbearing and overall fertility.”

But the reality seems to be that whatever the reason, it seems unlikely that the childbearing trends of the past will continue into the future, which means that businesses that have depended on such things for their prosperity make have to do some serious rethinking.

They may have to conceive of another approach.

It is what is called an Eye-Opener.
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