US Birthrate Continues Decline; Should Government Encourage Having Babies?

Lawmakers from both major political parties in past years have agreed to assist families in various ways. But should government encourage Americans to produce more children amid a steadily declining birthrate?

That topic could get more discussion time, according to The Wall Street Journal on Monday, as federal statistics released in May showed the number of babies born in the U.S. last year was the lowest in more than four decades. The overall fertility rate fell to the lowest on record since the government began tracking it in the 1930s.

The rate is below what experts consider the “replacement rate,” the number of new babies needed to keep the population level stable.

Although the coronavirus pandemic likely affected the birthrate starting late last year, that doesn’t explain why U.S. births dropped in all but one year from 2009 until early 2020.

This is not just an American issue, however. Japan, Italy, and Germany have fertility rates lower than the U.S.

The U.S. government already has created such things as child tax credits, government-funded preschool programs, and removal of marriage penalties from the tax code to try to help younger parents and their families.

However, the WSJ said talk about going further, encouraging people to produce

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