More people, more households, more dogs, but fewer children. This is a scary phenomenon to demographers. It means that if the population is increasing, it isn't because of babies being born. Joel Kotkin tells us about it in The Meaning of the Baby Bust. Other high income countries have experienced this, and now it's happening in the U.S. How will that affect us? Here's Kotkin:
Shifts in child bearing will profoundly affect our geography, politics and economic future. Children, after all, define our future society, and provide the primary motivation for parents and grandparents. Without a strong familial structure, we will be facing a rather grim future, as an expanding older population grows ever more dependent on a shrinking base of young working-age people. Demographer Sami Karam notes that the 1980s Reagan boom benefited from demographics of that period, with a rising proportion of working people to retirees. With trends headed the opposite way, he suggests, no such expansion may even be possible today.
The recession is probably the greatest factor causing this baby bust. And easy abortions certainly must contribute to it. But look at this. Birth Control Leads to More Births, Economists Find:
Talk about your unintended consequences. A new working paper by two Notre Dame University economists, Kasey Buckles and Daniel Hungerman, issued by the National Bureau of Economic Research, found that making condoms available in high schools, rather than preventing teen pregnancy, serves instead to promote it.
I've always thought that one of the most thankless jobs a person could do was try to prevent young people from having sex. That it's not working was entirely predictable.
P.S. Open borders would reverse the trend in no time flat, although finding a place in the economy for all newcomers would be a challenge.