Declining birth rate in Wisconsin, U.S. could be good or bad

David Wahlberg:

The state had 66,496 births last year, a rate of 61.3 births per 1,000 females ages 15 to 44, according to the state Department of Health Services. That’s down from 72,757 births and a rate of 64.5 in 2007.

Nationally, the rate dipped to 62.0 last year, a record low, with 3.9 million births.

There were 4.1 million fewer babies born from 2008 to 2016 than expected based on previous birth rates, according to Kenneth Johnson, a demographer at the University of New Hampshire.

At an average of 1.85 births per woman, Wisconsin and the United States are below the “replacement level” of 2.1 births per woman, the level at which a generation can replace itself, Egan-Robertson said.

That could cause problems in the workforce and the economy in future years, along with challenges to programs such as Social Security, he said. However, immigration offsets slow native population growth in the U.S. more than in places like Japan and parts of Europe, so the concerns aren’t as great here.