Given how big a zoo the playground was earlier, you might be surprised to learn that the country’s birth rate has just dipped back toward a record low. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, that record was set in 2013 at 3.93 million — a 9 percent decline since it reached a record high in 2007. Despite a slight increase in 2014, it went down to 3.98 million in 2015. Combined with a death rate conversely on the rise and, hey, maybe your kid will be able to afford their own home some day!
In years past, declining birth rates were not cause for concern because the birthrate among immigrants remained relatively high. But now that the birth rate of foreign-born women has similarly dipped, experts are worried about what this means for the economy. Fewer people aging into the workforce means fewer people paying taxes, not to mention less people to wait on you when you (and all your big generation buddies) are too old to move. But some demographers like Ronald Lee of the University of California, Berkley, argue that lower birth rates could help the economy by imposing less costs on families and the labor force. After all, you have 2 kids, and that’s 2 kids you’re putting through college, which means you’re twice as likely to need their help in retirement, which is when all those student loans will come due.
Still, arguing against high birthrates remains uncommon. Most experts would prefer you procreate a bit more, and increasingly suspect that solving the baby shortage will require far more progressive family leave and childcare policies at the federal level. In the meantime, there’s really only one thing you can do to help: have more sex. So if you weren’t already going to do it for yourself, do it for the economy.