March 5, 2019
From 2007 through 2018, births in the US have declined by 470 thousand on an annual basis, or an 11% decline. The US fertility rate has likewise cracked lower, from 2.12 births to 1.72, an 18% decline (2.1 births over a females childbearing years is considered zero growth). This has resulted in 4.5 million fewer net births in the US since 2007 than the Census had estimated in 2000 and again in 2008. This is over an entire years worth of births that never took place. The sharp decline in births, against an anticipated rise, and a deceleration from anticipated immigration has resulted in the Census downgrading US population growth through 2050 by over 50 million persons (detailed HERE). This decelerating growth and outright declines are happening across the globe among the “wealthy nations”, leaving little growth opportunity for the “poor nations” (detailed HERE).
The decline in US births has been particularly steep among those with the lowest incomes and assets. From 2007 through 2016, Native American fertility rates have collapsed from 1.62 to 1.23. Hispanic birthrates have fallen from 2.85 to just 2.1. Black birthrates have turned lower from 2.15 to about 1.9 and white birthrates from 1.95 to 1.72. Again, these birthrates are only through 2016 and the declines in 2017 and 2018 are significant and accelerating downward.
The reason for fast declining birthrates since 2007 in the US and among most nations globally seems to be the current ZIRP and low interest rates and Quantitative Easing programs which have the effect of inflating asset prices. The majority of assets are held by large institutions and post-child-bearing age populations. The flow through of these policies are asset prices rising significantly faster than incomes. For example, non-discretionary items like homes, rent,…