Lower nationwide birth rates could impact economy, experts say

Pandemic, inflation could be contributing to people having fewer children

Following the pandemic — and now concerns regarding inflation — economists expect the already-low birth rate in the U.S. will continue to decrease.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Following the pandemic — and now concerns regarding inflation — economists expect the already-low birth rate in the U.S. will continue to decrease.

Financially stability is undoubtedly a big part of the decision process whether or not to grow a family, experts said.

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With several unknowns during the last couple years, economists predict similar drops in birth rates that we’ve experienced in connection with other economic struggles

Melanie Guldi, an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Central Florida, said for the past two decades, new birth rates have trended downward.

Guldi said these trends suggest there will be issues with funding the Social Security Administration as one of the first major effects from the decline in younger workers.

Once the number of older Americans receiving social security outpaces healthy young workers paying in, a new way to fund the program will need to be established.

“If you look at some of the details in the social security reports, one of the main factors for why they worry social security will go, not really bankrupt, but it will no longer be funded by the money that they have,” Guldi said.

While the exact year when social security will have more money going out than being paid in fluctuates, Guldi said it’s expected to happen in the 2030s.

When looking at the long-term forecast, a drop in birth rates still takes about two decades for the effects to be felt in the workforce.

According to the Florida Department of Health, birth rates have been decreasing in Florida for more than two decades.

In Central Florida, the state said Polk, Orange and Osceola Counties have a higher birth rate than Seminole, Brevard, Volusia and Lake Counties.

“The pandemic led to a lot of job loss. Particularly, in-person jobs were changed, so people that were working in face-to-face jobs were all-of-a-sudden either remote working or maybe not working at all,” Guldi said.

The CDC reports data from 2020 shows women in their 30s with financial stability are more likely to have a child than women in their 20s.


About the Author:

Troy graduated from California State University Northridge with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication. He has reported on Mexican drug cartel violence on the El Paso/ Juarez border, nuclear testing facilities at the Idaho National Laboratory and severe Winter weather in Michigan.