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US Births Sink to 30-year Low; Fertility Rate Sinks Further Below Replacement Rate– Immigrants Are Essential to US Population


According to an NPR article on May 17, 2018, the fertility rate in the US has dropped to a nearly unprecedented low.  The article is based on a report by the Centers for Disease Control.  There was, overall, a 2 percent decrease in the number of births in the US in 2017, and a 3 percent decrease in the fertility rate among 15-44 year old women– to 60.2 births per 1,000 women.  The report, which is produced by the CDC’s  National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), has shown a fertility rate below the replacement level for the US since 1971.

The difference, and the growth in the US population since 1971, has been made up by immigration.  The replacement rate is 2,100 births per 1,000 women over a lifetime– the “total fertility rate”.  The rate for 2017 was only 1,764.5 births per 1,000 women, a 3 percent drop from 2016.

What this means is that, since 1971, if it were not for immigration, the population of the US would have declined.  This is also true of a few other countries, such as Spain, Greece, Italy, and Japan, among others.  At a very basic level, immigration is essential for the health of this country.  Immigrants also compensate, by being much younger than the average American, for the increasing burden that Social Security payments make on the taxpayer.

The entire document (a *.pdf) from NCHS, on the Document Cloud, can be found here.

(photo courtesy of and MabelAmber)

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