23 October 2014

Interesting demographics

Fewer babies born in Wisconsin.  For six years in a row.
Claire Smith, spokesperson from the Department of Health Services said the number of babies born in Wisconsin declined for the sixth year in a row last year.

The department recorded 66,566 live births to residents of Wisconsin in 2013, 633 fewer than the previous year. The teen birth rate also declined, with a crude rate of 19.7 births per 1,000 females aged 15 to 19, compared to 21.9 births in 2012.
Note that what is being reported is not a decline in population (because of people moving to Florida or baby boomers dying), but a decrease in new births.

Speculation at the link is that this reflects a response by residents to the economic slowdown, which started with the 2007-2008 recession.  And that this is not just a local phenomenon, but has been noted elsewhere in this country.


  1. Heck, out here in Hawaii the recovery's so good they'd better be having babies. Our unemployment is down to 4.1%.

  2. This is happening all over the developed world. In fact, when I checked a couple of years ago, America was the only developed nation with a birth ratio over 2.0 (i.e. the level required for population stability). Personally, I think it's a natural consequence of child survival rates — if we have one or two children, we are confident they will reach adulthood and certainly expect all our children to outlive us. This was certainly not the case one hundred years ago and is still not the case for large parts of the world. The consequence of this is that we don't need to have more than one or two children per family now. Add to that pensions and the little physical effort required for work, and many people simply prefer not to have children in the first place. Hopefully this means the human population will eventually settle at a more comfortable equilibrium.


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