WASHINGTON, D.C., May 30, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The United States has reached a new record-low birth rate, though the number of babies born rose for the first time since 2007.
A new report from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) found that the number of babies born in 2013 surpassed that of 2012 by approximately 4,700. A lead author for the report called it a “very, very, very slight” increase.
Conversely to the numbers gain, the U.S. has a birth rate of 63 babies per 1,000 women of child-bearing age, a record low. Likewise, the fertility rate – which examines the longer-term trend – shows that the U.S. is at about 1.87 children for each women over her lifetime, which is well below the replacement rate of 2.1 children per woman.
Many economists and other experts have said the recent trend was a reaction to the Great Recession. Another factor is how women are having children later.
However, while America's number of babies born grew for a decade until 2007, a record high of 4.3 million, Anne Morse of the Population Research Institute said that the birth rate “has been declining since the 1990s and even before. The average age at first childbirth increased by almost two years between today and 1990 from 24.2 years to 25.8 years of age.”
Morse told LifeSiteNews that “the baby bust isn't over. Part of the uptick in fertility can be explained by the end of the recession. But the recession didn’t cause America’s below replacement fertility, and so the end of the recession won’t fix it.” She predicts that “America will – like Germany, Italy, and Japan – face an aging problem.”
She pointed to the worldwide trend of low fertility, noting that “demographers don't know how low fertility will fall.”
“Our current social safety nets are built on the presumption that there are more young, working people than there are elderly people,” Morse said. “Our society and its corresponding markets will have to shift focus. We will have to face decreasing demand for capital.”
Studies of other nations show that the United States faces similar problems, such as less economic output per person, to theirs.
Immigration may be what is keeping America from dropping even lower. Census data from 2012 shows that the birth rate for most segments of the Hispanic population is well above that of white and black Americans.
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While a spokesperson for the National Center for Health Statistics said the agency “does not have any data on the immigration status of the mother,” the Census showed that non-Hispanic whites have a fertility rate of 63 births per thousand. Black Americans are likewise at 65 per thousand.
However, the Mexican birth rate is 73 births per thousand women, and people of Central/South American descent have a rate of 96 per thousand.
Mexican immigrants make up approximately 28 percent of foreign-born Americans.