Report Predicts Steep Birthrate Decline Due to Economic Downturn

A June 15, 2020 report from the Brookings Institute predicts 300,000 to 500,000 fewer births in the U.S. over the next year due to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report’s predictions are based on an analysis of past trends in prior economic downturns, and the role that “economic conditions¬† play in fertility decisions.”

An analysis of the Great Recession leads us to predict that women will have many fewer babies in the short term, and for some of them, a lower total number of children over their lifetimes.

The report finds that states that were the hardest hit by that recession reflected the steepest declines in birthrates, and for every one percent increase in unemployment, there was a corresponding 1.4% drop in birth rates.

If history indeed turns out to accurately predict a decline in birthrates as a result of the current pandemic, a nation that has seen a sharp increase in unemployment will still need continued immigration to have access to the workforce it will need for a strong economic recovery.

The administration’s efforts to put the brakes on immigration to prevent competition will harm, rather than help the economy and should be reversed.

You can find the Brookings report here.