The political right in recent years is fond of saying “demographics are destiny”, and in the objective sense, this is absolutely true, because societies come from people, and if the people change or disappear, the society changes or disappears because societies are made by men for men to reflect their values and organization of how to live.
One of the biggest indicators of the future for a society is the birthrate. Without children, there is no future because all men die, and if there are not enough children, the society can also shrink or die. It is not exclusive to any group, but affects all equally and without exception.
When the 2007-2008 financial crisis happened, there was speculation that the birth rate may go down because of people having less money. Ten years later, the first study into the last decade’s fertility has been completed, and it has been found that from 2008 to 2018, nearly 5.8 million fewer children were born than if one continued at the fertility levels of 2008 as the Institute for Family Studies reports.
Fertility rates have fallen around the world over the last decade—even in countries with generous social welfare states, which experts had long expected to be holdouts in the face of fertility declines. But while demographers often talk about this change in terms of “fertility rates” or “births per woman,” another way to tally the total is in terms of missing births. That is, if the population of women who might have kids changed the way it did over the last decade, and if fertility rates had remained at their 2008 levels (the last time we had replacement-rate fertility in America), how many more babies would have been born?
The answer is 5.8 million babies. Since births in the U.S. actually tend to run around 4 million per year, that’s almost like saying nobody had a baby for a year and a half. Figure 1 below shows the difference between the number of babies actually born to moms of each major racial or ethnic group tracked by the CDC from 2009-2019, and the number that would have been born, had 2008 fertility rates remained stable but underlying population totals changed in the same way.
The lion’s share of “missing babies” would have been born to Hispanic moms. That’s because in 2008, Hispanic moms could expect to have about 2.8 kids on average; now, they can expect to have about 2. Fertility rates declining by almost a third is a huge change, resulting in a loss of 2.7 million Hispanic babies that would otherwise have been born. (source)
Non-Hispanic whites make up the second biggest category of missing babies, with almost 2 million missing births. But that’s a bit of an illusion: in fact, non-Hispanic white fertility rates experienced the least amount of decline of any group (from 1.9 children per woman to 1.6; Asian-Americans have always been lower, falling from 1.8 to 1.5). But the number of potential non-Hispanic white moms is very large. Figure 2 below shows the percentage difference between actual births each year, and the expected number of births for that group and year.
For ethnic minorities in America, birth rates have fallen sharply since 2007. Hispanic births in 2019 were almost 30% below the number that might have been born, or about 860,000 births. Indigenous peoples are similarly far below trend, totaling about 81,000 missing births, and 13,000 just in 2019. Although births have declined among non-Hispanic whites, it is not as severe. Among Asians, there are over 210,000 missing births, making 2019 births 15% below their expected value, yielding about 47,000 missing Asian-American births per year. Finally, for African Americans, there are over 850,000 missing births, with 2019 births running 16% below the stable-fertility scenario. Non-Hispanic white births in 2019 were just 14% lower.
Keep in mind that in any society, a total fertility rate (TFR) of about 2.10-2.12 is necessary in order to “maintain” a population, meaning that the society will not get larger, but it will not shrink.
In 2008, the TFR for the US was 2.07, down from 2.12 in 2007 (likely due to the financial crisis) which was the highest since 1971 at a mere 2.27.
I mention these numbers to give context, and to remember too that the TFR is not solely driven by “native” births, but also by immigration (i.e. children born in a foreign land who then migrates with his parents to the US).
The US has not been reproducing for a long time. Considering that immigration was for decades a relatively minor factor in US population growth until 1965 and that the major influx of Hispanic immigrants did not start until about 1975, even with the arguable movement of anywhere from 50 to 90 million people (assuming and approximate 20% Hispanic population) mostly from Latin America into the US, the birth rates for all groups continue to decrease.
This study also shows that the “illegal Hispanics are outbreeding AMERICAN people” is also laughable, since the numbers show the sharpest declines for Hispanics, and that while all races declined, the whites declined the least proportionately.
But the issue here that interests me is not race. Rather, it is the inverse of the Malthusian nightmare told for centuries, that an exploding human population would ‘destroy the world. To the contrary, the real nightmare is the opposite, and what is happening now, which is a demographic winter. I speak not of race here, but of human presence and the continuation of society.
As I said before, societies come from people. I a society is to survive, it needs people to populate it. Take away the people, the society dies. There are no other ways to describe this.
Who is going to make the food? Run the factories? Pave the roads? Keep the grass trimmed? Sell the goods? Market the good? Make the entertainment? If there are people who make these things, who will they market them to, if there are fewer people to whom these commodities can be marketed?
One of the trends that I have emphasized for years, and it is a dual trend, is the rise of supercities coupled with rural rot. When populations decline, the businesses that interact with the people also decline, and if this happens, people leave areas for those of greater populations. This hits the country the hardest, since the country is always less populated. People move to the cities, and the rural areas just rot or become overgrown. The cities become urban megalopoli, and the rural areas turn to wastelands.
Ignore the trends of people leaving cities because of COVID. That is a small ‘uptick’ that will be temporary. The real trend to watch for is ultraurbanization and hyperindustrialization combined with deindustrialization and depopulation taking place at the same time, creating an imbalance of power, population, and control that serves the whims of a few at the expense of the many.
Yet the irony of it all is that it can be fought, because large population do not ‘destroy’ nations, but expand them, even if it means exporting surplus people around the world, such as how the Spanish, French, English, Irish, Dutch, Portuguese, and even the Germans settled the tip to the tail of the whole Western Hemisphere and even many parts of the African continent and colonies throughout Asia. All that one needs to do is reproduce, and have more than two children.
This is the real Malthusian lie- and a trend that will likely continue under COVID because people are not forming relationships and not having children -that too few people is good and too many are bad, when the truth is that the opposite is the reality.