The provisional number of births for the United States in 2020 was 3,605,201, down 4% from 2019. This was the lowest number of babies born since 1979.
The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) in 2020 was again below replacement level. Replacement level is 2,100 births per 1,000 women and in 2020 the US TFR was 1,637.5 births per 1,000 women, down 4% from the rate in 2019 (1,706.0).
The general fertility rate was 55.8 births per 1,000 women aged 15–44, down 4% from 2019 to reach another record low for the United States. The total fertility rate was 1,637.5 births per 1,000 women in 2020, down 4% from 2019 to also reach another record low for the nation.
Written by Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.
57 thoughts on “US Has Fewest Births Since 1979”
Calm down Peter-rator.
Of course, when I read a headline about "teen pregnancy" I don't know whether this is:
These are all COMPLETELY different situations, with different causes, different outcomes, and the first one should be praised, not condemned.
fuzzy line – creatures as sentient vs intelligent
melodramatic and bizarre poetic reverse-insult.
Blogbot or M.FA candidate?
Great metaphor for the darkness in all of us – likely out there with current circumstances, more than most other times..
some people just like to break stuff
more likely mental illness.
Fascinating. The anger. The cascades of resentment and rage. The seething jealousy and envy. A kind of glaring cultural impotence; acting out from a lifetime of chaos andunderachievement. A form of delusion from self-imposed victimhood and lack of strong moral compass to seek common purpose or empathy. A distinct short-coming of well-articulated grievance that would allow discussion and resolution. Like savages baying at the moon at some slight or disturbance to the simple order which has been held sacrosanct. But with emotional outpouring and fearful lashing comes the time for reconsidering of the barking and gnashing. The time to look upon the targets of vitriole and hatred; to see the response; to see the indifference; to see the pity and apathy. This now brings the humility. Now is the period of taking note of the true circumstances and to rebuild yourself. To find peace in your place and community – to do what is productive and eschew that which is openly emotional and purposeless.
All people are 20 parts unrealized potential and at best 1 part fulfilled potential. It will always be this way, because you can do a lot of things, just not all of them, you have to make choices rejecting some to do others. And, as there are time windows to learning, there is no going back on many of these. If you want to become fluent with no accent in a second language you haven't much time to decide that or much time for others to decide that for you. By 8 it is probably already too late. Some others are not too hard like learning the Kazoo. Take that up when you are 90.
So sure, pay for the piano lessons…if you have the money. If not, there are free lessons online. Pay for a new Yamaha piano, or get a Crag's list Piano or a synth. It will make little difference. If they hate piano…find something they actually like.
And there is no such thing as self-reliance. It is a delusion of self-deceiving egomaniacs. There are skills that may help you when you get lost, or when something breaks, but that is not the same thing. People think about teaching kids how to survive in the wilderness…how to work with nature. These same people do not teach their kids how to negotiate society, half of them don't know how to use a city bus.
Also consider the view that specialization and self-reliance are near opposites…conflicting systems. Specialization is about having an expert to do every task. Self-reliance is learning to do every task mediocre or worse and slow.
agreed, but some biologists and conservationists would argue
really. i see catharsis
maybe easier in the cities with communal spaces and multi-family units?
Wax-on Wax-off. This will overcome the frustration.
"…You have equated not being able to provide luxuries with not caring about your kids, or doing a terrible job parenting…that is the illness…."
You have equated 'any time spent with your kids as good time' – this is eastern european pre-2000s' values 'family is always best' fluff. This is too easy and is 'afterschool special' neo-christian values' shlock from the 70s to 90s. Of course, closeness is convenient – of course leaving kids unattended is fraught with unacceptable risk – we knew this centuries ago. Time with kids vs kids doing homework is ok but not better. One is only a parent – that is not necessarily a nurse; that is not necessarily a psychologist; that is not necesarily an educational specialist. Our society is approaching greatness because of specialization and outsourcing of very specific skills – musician, language, sports, technology. A parent is great -but to think it is ideal is to think traditional family values are ideal – is to think community is more improtant than individuality – is to think bulk mediocrity of social values is good enough. And to think all these things is not wrong – it just leads to a world of vanilla humans with the same drama and conflict and unmet ambitions as many of the countries that provide such huge immigrant sources to great nations. If we believed these things we would all still be living in small towns. These are the NOW G7 goals: unrealized potential, unbounded opportunity, individualism in experience, self-reliance
It is always people who have been lucky and received many things who chide those who have not. Always giving credit to themselves for every success. Anything to lift that nose a little higher, and shut the wallet a little tighter.
How about all the people that had college tuition of $4,000 a semester, tell those in college now paying $30,000 a semester that it is their fault…that they can always find some other place to get an education, perhaps Honduras.
Tell them again, it is the duty of the individual to bend and take it. Inform them that it is not the job of society to care for its citizens but to empowering the corporations and the unions of others to enslave them and make their labor worth a small fraction of these others who have greased the politicians campaigns for favors.
And I am not saying higher taxes is the solution…correcting the broken markets is the solution.
Unions in businesses paid for by the government should certainly not be permitted to contribute to political campaigns, or advocate any candidate as this is an obvious conflict of interest. But this is just one of many corrupt ways markets are damaged. We must correct impediments and approach "perfect competition": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfect_competition#Idealizing_conditions_of_perfect_competition
To tell someone to calm down is often a source of aggravation – yet amusing pseudo-wisdon is a sight to behold.
Fascinating.The anger. The cascades of resentment and rage. The seething jealousy and envy.A kind of glaring cultural impotence; acting out from a lifetime of chaos andunderachievement. A form of delusion from self-imposed
victimhood and lack of strong moral compass to seek common purpose or empathy.
A distinct short-coming of well-articulated grievance that would allow
discussion and resolution. Like savages baying at the moon at some slight or
disturbance to the simple order which has been held sacrosanct. But with
emotional outpouring and fearful lashing comes the time for reconsidering of
the barking and gnashing. The time to look upon the targets of vitriole and
hatred; to see the response; to see the indifference; to see the pity and
apathy. This now brings the humility. Now is the period of taking note of the
true circumstances and to rebuild yourself. To find peace in your place and community
– to do what is productive and eschew that which is openly emotional and
you don't have to live where you don't want to. It is your job to fit in, not society's job to adapt to the individual. The great thing about living in free western societies is the ability to follow the path that is so transparently in front of you (if you care to accept reality) — the bad thing about free (and slightly right of centre) western societies is that, for the most part, you get what you deserve. How you want to live day-to-day may not match the way you want to end up in middle age, retired, etc. Happy day-to-day means miserable at middle-age (unless you are otherwise entitled) but this is where greatness arises – struggle – but that is where sanity returns (or does not) the ability to 'notice' that you are beat, unworthy, or damaging yourself and others. This kind of society makes it very rare that you fail by any other means, except by your own lack of due diligence, not accepting your own short-comings, and not realizing that it is fundamentally unfair, yet 'known'. The worst thing you can do is try to change the world so that your kind (or anyone's) is more likely to succeed – for there is a certain balance, for better or worse, which is internally consistent. With money, technology, and experience – things should shift to greater oppoirtunity, choice, and knowledge. But for now, belly-aching about the successes of others is to reveal your own lack of ability to see the corrupt and unfair that has always been there. Why green initiatives fail: human nature.
“Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.” — (The Empire Strikes Back)“
In a dark place we find ourselves, and a little more knowledge lights our way.” — (Revenge of the Sith)
“Be mindful of your thoughts. They’ll betray you.” — (Attack of the Clones)
“You have controlled your fear. Now, release your anger. Only your hatred can destroy me.” — (The Empire Strikes Back)
“If you only knew the power of the dark side.” — (The Empire Strikes Back)
Family is quite sacred – optimizing the child experience may not be an easy community or county or state endeavour.
Yes. 'Real'-ality show. confirms many of our most cynical suspicions of society, people, social-economics. TED did a bio on similar study of 10,000s in UK – also a Big American U? Yale?
To tell someone to calm down is often a source of aggravation – yet amusing pseudo-wisdon is a sight to behold.
“Fear Leads To Anger, Anger Leads To Hate, And Hate Leads To Suffering.” Yoda
“Your Ability To Speak Does Not Make You Intelligent. “ – Qui-Gon Jinn (Star Wars)
150 years ago the young and strong workers earned the most, because they produced the most…not counting the 10% who owned the resources. Those young and strong were best able to make a home for children. Now our society leaves most of the young workers in poverty, at least by comparison. In San Diego, the only people I know who have families either work directly for the government (city governments) or work for a military contractor. Or the guy is 50 and the girl is 30. Or they are Mexican and each has 3+ jobs and 4 people in every room.
I think it is a disaster. And it is mostly caused by government complying with the desires of every industry and group who wants to make their product resource or service more expensive.
Real estate brokers want real estate prices to go up, home owners want real estate to go up, environmental lobbies want less construction. Even the developers (mostly well connected and red tape masters) want less, so they get more money because of the higher demand, and can force people into HOAs. The result is very expensive housing.
Home owners are stupid. The value of their house going up does not help them. They don't plan to sell. And if they did, it is to get a bigger one, and that will just cost them more.
Colleges have gotten incredibly greedy.
Healthcare costs are absurd, and we get squat for that. We allow companies to monopolize markets like hardware stores. And we allow utilities, and government unions to really squeeze people.
geez. dark ending. And some of those 'keeners' really appeared to be going nuts in the middle-age years. To say that a show has 'no winners'.
Yes. Yes. Wax-on. Wax-off. To control your impatience and frustration.
Life is not about Need. If it was we would still be living in the last truly Utilitarian decade of the 1940s, with all the domestic and community deterioration which was just then accelerating into the 50s and 60s as western society truly and finally broke away from our primitive east european forebears.
Fascinating. The anger. The cascades of resentment and rage. The seething jealousy and envy. A kind of glaring cultural impotence; acting out from a lifetime of chaos and underachievement. A form of delusion from self-imposed victimhood and lack of strong moral compass to seek common purpose or empathy. A distinct short-coming of well-articulated grievance that would allow discussion and resolution. Like savages baying at the moon at some slight or disturbance to the simple order which has been held sacrosanct. But with emotional outpouring and fearful lashing comes the time for reconsidering of the barking and gnashing. The time to look upon the targets of vitriole and hatred; to see the response; to see the indifference; to see the pity and apathy. This now brings the humility. Now is the period of taking note of the true circumstances and to rebuild yourself. To find peace in your place and community – to do what is productive and eschew that which is openly emotional and purposeless.
I think there is a danger of reducing resourcefulness and sustained determination, if you solve all their problems for them. But there is a balance. You don't want them to be stuck on something so long that is interfering with more learning and experience. Help them think their way out of problems, but more like a spotter in weight lifting.
And they need to learn to motivate themselves, and be diligent without someone monitoring them.
School already teaches you to think something is wrong if you can't find the answer in 3 minutes.
It certainly helps to have the parental instinct. And maybe it is wise for those who have no room in their heart for children not to have them. But, perhaps others that do have that room need to consider having more to make up for all the self-absorbed child haters, rather than just having 2.
Sharing a room with a sibling is not a problem. You just learn how to get along with other people better. And you can cruise the Internet just fine on a PC and just have a regular cellphone, or smartphone only used as a cellphone. None of this is going to cripple them.
One environment makes a massive difference…the prenatal environment…most of the rest is small unless profoundly negative. You can raise IQ 2 standard deviations or more with prenatal nutrition, making sure the mother to be has no toxins in her system, and making sure there are no toxins in the home.
And I mentioned quality time with the children. If you are working your keester off to provide luxuries and have no time to spend with the children, that is a stupid trade-off.
And I said nothing about "18 and out the door". I don't advocate that at all. If someone did that where I live, they would be guaranteed homeless as rent is sky high…or they would have to shack up with some old pervert. I suppose if you never want your kids to visit or call, want to live the rest of your life in silence, and just receive a picture or two…be that kind of jerk.
You don't need a new car when a 10-year-old car works just as well. And there are a hundred other ways to save money and live just fine.
You have equated not being able to provide luxuries with not caring about your kids, or doing a terrible job parenting…that is the illness.
really liked the Up-Series where they monitored a group of kids born in the 1950s on the premise that "…Give me the child until he is seven and I will give you the man... " understood, by me, to mean the experiences pre-7 YO dictate future potential. They took a bunch of class/ race/ gender diverse kids and checked-in every 7 years, (until a few years ago!!) to see how they did… mostly expected outcomes. Bigger studies on child-rearing suggest limited 'class mobility' from their parents. Maybe all the more reason to maximize rich, communal, and intensive-type child-rearing systems?
agreed. many people consider helicopter-parenting to be squashing of the 'child experience' but is maximizing/ increasing the 'time to be a child' really create a more fulfilled human? — or just sentiment?
perhaps. but how many good STEM and top 25% people came from a background of individual rooms and smartphones being considered luxuries. Children, at least at some level, need to be considered as 'future people' and should be invested-in as such. Going ahead and having a litter without considering helping them with post-secondary education, in this day and age, is really a huge dis-service. '18 and you're out the door' is pretty much like corporal punishment. Spoiling a child is a failure of the parents not to provide a positive outlet for any resources provided to them. There are many no-potential children that made a life for themself with extra investment, likely less than the number of high-potential children that could not afford the dreams they easily could have accomplished with parental support — pull yourself up by your own bootstraps is really short-sighted and often the excuse given by parents that really had no intention of maximizing their input into a kid. I imagine that there has been some kind of study that quantifies for every extra dollar invested in extra-curricular education, sports, skill, or career-oriented development pre-high school has turned into massive earning potential and life ambition afterward. I imagine parents are quick to admit that their ordinary kid 'made it big on their own' but crickets-crickets when asked about how their hi-potential kid couldn't afford campus housing and ending up commuting 90 mins per day and ended up mediocre.
Agreed. Also, kind of like the idea of centralized, small-community-focussed child bearing, rearing, and development. There seemed to be increased interest in creches and such with non-profits, kibbutz, communes, collectives, etc., in the mid 20th century. Seemed very efficient. I suppose that they became rather poltiical, controversial, and somewhat linked to polyamory. I imagine that such facilities would be less likely to instill individualism, personal ambition, and self-reliance unless a curriculum could be developed. There are probably some more modern and functional examples of common children raising — likely with shared time in a more traditional household (with early prime female bonding being crucial).
Either way, increasing single- and no-child family units may need to be balanced by the lab, the alternative family type, or communal/ institutional system.
thinking that it is more about the 'lifestyle change' of being a parent in the next 1, 3, and 10 years than personal comfort and image — though many others claim the physcial sacrifices are significant. Even heard an increasing number who simply don't want to bring a child 'into this kind of world' – it may have been interesting to pose the expected follow-up question but…
that being said, ordering a baby that also has genetic relations without the pregnancy drama probably appeals to many as an 'added bonus'.
that being said, many who have had their child, and love them dearly, kind of wished that they had 'timed it better' to their current life phase (got their career further along so that the return would be smoother, made sure that the partner was not such a tool, current housing arrangement was better…)
Adoption is actually quite popular, 'comparatively' inexpensive, and with a lot legal protections/ structure in many western countries. Surrogacy tends to be about the business of 'baby production' for profit and is often limited to very specific 'requests'. Also, in many areas it is not too illegal to give up your child for adoption at later ages (which isn't intended to motivate those who are sick and tired of their pre-teen and want to drop her across the state line). …and there is a certain amount of unofficial The Big Chill 'activity'. It's quite amazing that having children is such a very unregulated free-for-all.
Was always rather surprised that surrogate-hood never took off. Take a gap year, with all expenses and comforts taken care of — make enough money, as I understand it, to almost pay for a year of private college. I am not sure such an 'industry' should be as developed and promoted as adoption placement/ matching – which appears to be almost 'franchised'. Not sure of local regulations and stigma, but like any business – supply/ demand. Maybe more acceptable (or unregulated or tolerated pr positively-supported) in fringe societies such as southeast Asia, northern Europe, or eastern Europe.
At least we know the decline isn't really due to covid. Look at the chart. It had already been declining for several years. 2020 continues the downward trend.
After covid, there may be a "renewal of hope" that causes a higher birthrate. Just like the baby boom after WWII.
Generally speaking, high wealth leads to lower birthrate. Look at the birth rates during the 1920's. They were declining. Then, with about a year or two lag, they started going back up in the 1930's. People were poor.
The elation after WWII was disconnected from wealth. It was based on hope.
Well, at least you aren't professing a malthusian streak…
"Turns out you can't get preggers over zoom"
It's usually not wise to underestimate the porn industry regarding technological innovation. They helped to birth e-commerce with online payments, search engine technology, video streaming, and a host of other internet technologies.
Though the drop in teen pregnancies may be dependent on population density, as that might not be true in walkable/bicycleable areas. Japan is reporting rises in teen pregnancy during the pandemic in high density cities.
Though from a social perspective, reductions in teen pregnancy is probably a good thing, even if it drags down overall numbers.
Why not add something useful to a conversation.
So we are cowards if we decide not to end the world in nuclear bombardment? I don't think "coward" is the right word for that.
I suppose you would have preferred that the Soviets had taken the globe or maybe the Nazis?
What would have happened had the USSR, or The Nazis gotten the bomb 5 years before the US? You don't think they would have used it to conquer the World? We didn't. We ended a war and never used it again.
There is no American "Empire". We have not conquered and subjugated peoples, enslaved them and taxed them…well…not for a long time.
You are just sympathetic to bigots who can't stand to have one non-Islamic country in their region and set up illegal and corrupt cartels designed to extort and gouge…mostly to make a few people filthy rich and increase their grip on power over their countries.
How about you stop sayin?
ISS is proving O'Neill business, not on a planet surface, thus micr0 g. High demand, need more!
People saying stuff is cheap and easy, actually creating stuff isn't. O'Neill's business model isn't viable, and Bezos said his current activities will aid future generations in possibly building in space in the centuries to come.
I was talking to a pregnant woman and recommended Janov aware birthing reference, Leboyer. She said that was how she had already had children, and described the overall experience. See oxytocin. The basic message was that she felt sorry for males, who would never be able to.
Would they be called "drones"?
Sort of a trick, as there will be a shortage of 20 year olds even if none go to Space. That is the main blog's point. O'Neill sez 10k to 100k in 20-30 years, from ~1980, anticipating shuttle as promised. Bezos sez "millions" thru direct effort of Blue Origin, in Bezos' lifetime. Big picture is trillions in the whole solar system, as the thing that O'Neill tech (1980's) is limited by, also sez Bezos. The point here is, there is no rational reason to fear long term shortages to such an extent as to be sterile!!!
The story I've heard is that the shortfall is all teenage pregnancies.
Why? Because a huge proportion of all the teenage girls didn't go to school and college last year. They stayed home. So, no meeting with teenage boys.
Turns out you can't get preggers over zoom. Though no doubt many tried as hard as they could.
"In 20 years there will be a shortage of 20 year olds"?
What would be the problem if all 20 year olds were to disappear tomorrow, what is this vital utility of 20 year olds that 25 year olds cant provide?
I seriously doubt there will be more than 50 people in space at any one time over the next 20 years.
I am not in the least concerned. People will correct the genetic defects and kids will be incubated in artificial wombs.
I think many women today just don't want to be pregnant. They don't want the discomfort, the glares, the thought that some may not consider them beautiful, and the thought that their work may discriminate against them. There is the chance of gestational diabetes that may not go away. Other things. If instead they could have a child from an artificial womb genetically their own with a few fixes, that is healthy, and will be bright, sane, diligent, and loving, they would consider it.
I am not saying all the inconveniences of having a child are gestational, just that the others are small in comparison to the rewards.
I also think that women have been taught to expect everything to be as easy for them as they perceive things are for men. This makes women think being pregnant is unfair. And people tend to avoid things they see as unfair…when they can.
There are many other factors involved. I think we have been pressured into thinking that we have to have a lot of resources or we will be bad parents. Hogwash. Shelter, food, diapers, clothing, shoes, some school supplies, some quality time, some modest presents for Christmas and birthdays and at least one room for each gender is really all you need. But dirt bikes, Nintendo, ski trips, boats, a room for each, smartphones for each…all luxuries. Fine…just not required. Being stingy? That is another story.
Need more births, better births. Those who can afford it should do it now. In 20 years there will be a shortage of 20 year olds, as so many go to Space. World without end.
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