Category: Demography

Resource Category Topic Type
U.S. Births Remain Low as the Great Recession Wanes
The Great Recession sent an economic shock through American society that reached far beyond the stock and housing markets. More than five years after economists announced the end of the recession, fertility levels have still not recovered. As a result, more than 3.4 million fewer babies were born in the United States between 2008 and 2015 than would have been expected if pre-recession fertility rates had been sustained (see Figure 1). In each of the last five years, this birth deficit has resulted in roughly 500,000 fewer births. Nor do new data just released show any evidence of an upturn in births. National Center for Health Statistics data for 2015 show the lowest general fertility rate on record and only 3,978,000 births last year. There were 338,000 (8 percent) fewer births in 2015 than in 2007, just before the Recession began to influence fertility. This decline in births is entirely due to reduced fertility rates. The number of women in their prime childbearing years (20 to 39) actually increased by 2.5 million (6 percent) between 2007 and 2015. With more women of child-bearing age, the expectation would be for more babies. Yet the larger cohort of childbearing age women in 2015 produced fewer births than the smaller 2007 cohort did. If the fertility rates of 2007 had been sustained through 2015, the larger cohort of women of childbearing age would have been expected to produce nearly 600,000 more children in 2015 than were actually born.
Demography Birth Rates Publication
U.S. Fertility Rate Hits Record Low and Births Continue to Diminish
National Center for Health Statistics data for 2018 show the lowest general fertility rate on record and just 3,788,000 births—the fewest in 32 years. There were 528,000 fewer births (12 percent) in 2018 than in 2007, just before the Great Recession began to influence births.
Demography Birth Rates, Fertility Publication
U.S. Fertility Rates and Births Continue to Diminish
National Center for Health Statistics data for 2019 show the lowest fertility rates on record and just 3,746,000 births—the fewest since 1985.
COVID-19, Demography Birth Rates, COVID-19, Demography, Fertility, Women Publication
U.S. Population Growth Slows, but Diversity Grows
In this brief, author Kenneth Johnson reports that in 2019 the U.S. population grew at the lowest rate in a century because there were fewer births, more deaths, and less immigration. Fertility rates diminished regardless of race or Hispanic origin and immigration declines were also widespread. As a result, the growth rate of both the minority and non-Hispanic White population diminished. Yet, the racial diversity of the population continued to grow, according to Census Bureau estimates released on June 25, 2020. This increasing diversity reflects two important demographic trends. The minority population is growing, and the non-Hispanic White population is declining. This interplay of White and minority demographic change increased diversity.
COVID-19, Demography Birth Rates, COVID-19, Demography, Hispanics, Immigration, Mortality Publication
U.S. Rural Soldiers Account for a Disproportionately High Share of Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan
A study by the Carsey Institute found that among U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, those who are from rural America are dying at a higher rate than those soldiers who are from cities and suburbs. According to U.S. Department of Defense records, rural youth enlist in the military at a higher rate than urban and suburban youth and in all but eight states, soldiers from rural areas make up a disproportionately high share of the casualties.
Demography, Vulnerable Families Research Program Mortality, Rural, Young Adults Publication
Voting and Attitudes Along the Red Rural–Blue Urban Continuum
Political commentary often divides the nation into two partisan zones, urban and rural, but new analysis demonstrates that the rural–urban gradient is a continuum, not a dichotomy. In this study of the 2018 congressional midterms, authors Kenneth Johnson and Dante Scala confirm their earlier analysis of the 2016 presidential election and demonstrate how voting patterns and political attitudes vary across the spectrum of urban and rural areas.
Demography Demography, Politics and Elections, Rural, Urban Publication
White Deaths Exceed Births in One-Third of U.S. States
In 2014, deaths among non-Hispanic whites exceeded births in more states than at any time in U.S. history. Seventeen states, home to 121 million residents or roughly 38 percent of the U.S. population, had more deaths than births among non-Hispanic whites (hereafter referred to as whites) in 2014, compared to just four in 2004. When births fail to keep pace with deaths, a region is said to have a “natural decrease” in population, which can only be offset by migration gains. In twelve of the seventeen states with white natural decreases, the white population diminished overall between 2013 and 2014. This research is the first to examine the growing incidence of white natural decrease among U.S. states and to consider its policy implications. Our analysis of the demographic factors that cause white natural decrease suggests that the pace is likely to pick up in the future. Over the last several decades, demographers have noted the growing incidence of natural decrease in the United States.1 More widespread natural decrease results from declining fertility due to the Great Recession, and the aging of the large baby boom cohorts born between 1946 and 1964. This senior population is projected to expand from nearly 15 percent of the total population in 2015 to nearly 24 percent in 2060.2 Much of this aging baby boom population is white, and so white mortality is growing. Together, growing white mortality and the diminishing number of white births increase the likelihood of more white natural decrease. In contrast, births exceed deaths by a considerable margin among the younger Latino population, and the combination of these very different demographic trends is increasing the diversity of the U.S. population.3
Demography Demography, Mortality Publication
Why Do the Children Flee?
“Fleeing Gangs, Children Head to U.S. Border” New York Times July 9, 2014 In summer of 2014, headlines throughout the hemisphere called attention to an unfolding tragedy: the plight of Central Americans fleeing north to escape the violence engulfing their communities. The staggering number of migrants seeking refuge sparked a great deal of debate within the United States, particularly due to the large numbers of children. In 2014, approximately 57,000 unaccompanied minors traveled from Central America to Mexico, continuing north to cross the U.S. border illegally. Once in the United States, most children turned themselves over to U.S. Border Control agents and faced swift deportation proceedings. Others have been temporarily reunited with family members throughout the United States, waiting for the courts to decide their fate. Thus far in 2015, the number of unaccompanied child apprehensions on the southwest border has declined compared to 2014. However, some border crossing zones (particularly the Big Bend and Yuma sectors) report sharp increases in apprehension rates, indicating that migrants and traffickers may be adjusting their tactics to try to elude U.S. border agents.1 In Mexico, apprehension and deportation rates of Central American migrants have almost doubled this year, as Mexican officials have ramped up enforcement efforts at the behest of U.S. officials. Central Americans are still fleeing, but many are detained in Mexico before they reach the U.S. border.
Demography, Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Migration Publication
Why People Move to and Stay in New Hampshire
Migration is important to New Hampshire’s demographic future. Traditionally, the state has grown both because of migration into it and because of the surplus of births over deaths. However, recently all of New Hampshire’s population growth has been due to migration. In this brief, authors Kenneth Johnson and Kristine Bundschuh analyze data from the University of New Hampshire Survey Center’s Granite State Poll to examine the characteristics of two groups of current New Hampshire residents—recent migrants and established residents—to understand why people move to and choose to stay in the state. Their findings illustrate that migration decisions are influenced by an interrelated set of factors that encompass elements of the state’s social, economic, and natural environment.
Demography, New Hampshire Birth Rates, Demography, Migration, New Hampshire, Public Opinion Publication
With Less Migration, Natural Increase is Now More Important to State Growth
According to Johnson's analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, the nation continues to experience reduced levels of domestic migration (movement from one state to another) as a result of the economic recession, and natural increases (births versus deaths) are an increasingly important factor in population gains.
Demography Birth Rates, Demography, Migration, Mortality Publication