Sunday, February 12, 2012
American Under-18 Population Drops
For the first time in at least two decades, the Wall Street Journal reported January 6, the American population under the age of 18 years of age fell between 2010 and 2011. First off, fewer immigrant children are coming to the United States. Second, fewer children are being born. The Journal correlates the decreased birth rate with the states hardest hit by unemployment--which seems true but not uniformly.
The numbers of children in the United States also fell in the 1970s, when the country underwent both economic recession and cultural upheaval--women entered the workforce en masse and the divorce rate climbing steeply. A large drop in fertility was also the cause of a decline in the number of children in the 1920s--a boom period that was also marked by a major shift in cultural norms with the emergence of the flapper.
Overall, the number of children in the United States is still 2.3% above that of 2000, but that growth occurred in the early part of the decade.