Millennials and Gen Z don’t have enough children to sustain America’s population—and it’s up to immigrants to make up the shortfall

Millennials and Gen Z are less enthusiastic have children than their parents. The reasons are many: financial, social, and biological, with the younger generation’s preference for “release.”

America’s declining fertility rate has been a cause for concern for decades. During the Great Recession of 2008, millennials delayed marriage and having children, causing fertility rates to drop. to drop.

Then, early in the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a short-lived “child-bust,” when conceptions fell slightly. Months later, the rates rebounded but paled in comparison to the massive number of daily deaths.

Over the next few decades, demographers expect population growth to decline further. But there is one hope for increasing the US population: immigrants.

A report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) was released on Tuesday predicts that the nation’s population will reach 373 million in 2053, up nearly 3 million from CBO estimates a year ago. The difference? Increase in immigrants over the next three decades.

The chart shows US population growth over the next 30 years

The US population today 334.3 million.

Over the next 30 years, the CBO projects a decrease in births compared to deaths. In isolation, this means that the population will decline rather than grow.

But long-term population growth may be “driven by immigration because fertility rates remain below the rate required for a generation to adequately replace itself without immigration,” the report said. – said.

However, the pace of population growth through 2053 will be only a third of what it was between 1983 and 2022, the CBO said.

Immigration rates in the US are influenced by many factors.

William H. Frey, a demographer and senior fellow at Brookings Metroa think tank, WRITES in an analysis of census data earlier this month that government policies and economic trends affect immigration. “In the mid-2010s, the country saw gains of over 1 million net immigrants from abroad every year. Although largely due to government restrictions, that fell to 477,000 in 2019-20,” he wrote.

In addition to immigration patterns, the CBO report also predicts that the population will grow in the coming decades, with more Americans falling within the “65 and over” bracket. This may be the reason why the estimates show deaths exceeding births in 2042.

CBOs estimates offer some optimism because they still predict population growth, most of which is attributed to those in their prime, between 25 and 54 years. That share grows by 1.1 million per year, which means more individuals in the economy are employed.

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