Friday, January 11, 2019

Mapping America's Falling Fertility

Yesterday the CDC announced that fertility rates in the USA had reached a thirty year low. In fact only two states, South Dakota and Utah, currently have fertility rates high enough to maintain current levels of the working population.

The U.S. needs a total fertility rate of 2,100 births per 1,000 women in order to replace its population over time, without recourse to immigration. The fertility rates in 48 states are below the level needed to maintain the current population. Esri's 2017 US Fertility Rates by State shows the fertility rates in each state.

Esri's map shows the overall total fertility rate in each state and the fertility rate for the three largest race and Hispanic-origin groups. The District of Columbia had the lowest total fertility rate in 2017. The highest fertility rate was in South Dakota.

One result of America's falling birth rate is that in a couple of decades it is likely that there will be more people over 65 years of age in the USA than there are children, for the first time in the country's history. By 2030 it is projected that 1 in every 5 people will be of retirement age. In order to replace the falling numbers of Americans of working age it is likely that the USA will have to rely on higher levels of immigration.

Americans over 70

By 2030 everyone of the baby boomer generation will be older than age 65. This ageing generation is already pushing up the average age in many areas of the U.S.. In 1970 the median age was 28.1. In 2016 it was 37.9. Obviously the median age varies from county to county. Last year City Lab mapped out the number of Americans over 70 in Mapping America's Aging Population.

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