The Economist: US Fertility Now Below Replacement Rate

The Economist Magazine notes that the total fertility rate (TFR) in the United States has plunged since the beginning of the financial crisis, from nearly 2.1% in 2008 to just over 1.9% in 2011:

 American fertility is now lower than that of France.

CONSERVATIVE Americans like to contrast the vigour and virility of their own country with the decadence and decline of Europe. Demography is exhibit A in their argument. Mitt Romney, for example, talked about Europe’s “demographic disaster” as he ended his presidential bid in 2008, calling it “the inevitable product of weakened faith in the creator, failed families, disrespect for the sanctity of human life and eroded morality”.

Americans especially like to focus on the total fertility rate, or TFR, the average number of children a woman can expect to have during her lifetime. For years, America was unusual among rich countries in having a relatively high TFR of around 2.1, the so-called “replacement rate”, at which a population stabilises over the long term. European countries were typically below that rate, sometimes far below it. READ MORE.