January 6, 2008

THE EXCEPTIONAL COUNTRY:

U.S. Fertility Rate Hits 35-Year High, Stabilizing Population (Rob Stein, 12/21/07, Washington Post)

For the first time in 35 years, the U.S. fertility rate has climbed high enough to sustain a stable population, solidifying the nation's unique status among industrialized countries.

The overall fertility rate increased 2 percent between 2005 and 2006, nudging the average number of babies being born to each woman to 2.1, according to the latest federal statistics. That marks the first time since 1971 that the rate has reached a crucial benchmark of population growth: the ability of each generation to replace itself. [...]

Europe, Japan and other industrialized countries have long had fertility rates far below the replacement level, creating the prospect of labor shortages and loss of cultural identity as the proportion of native-born residents shrinks in relation to immigrant populations.


That last is just as vital a difference--every kid born in America is American; only the ethnically French and Japanese kids are French and Japanese.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 6, 2008 4:15 PM
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