It is that time of year when pundits raise the alarm that the American birth rate has fallen to the clearly unsustainable level that most countries in the developed world have been experiencing for the past 20 years.

(A thread)
The US total fertility rate is down to 1.705 per woman* between the ages of 15 and 44, but note that because we don't typically wait for women to reach this age, this estimate is purely hypothetical.

* Not "per mother" because y'all there are women who never become mothers
In the ensuing panic caused by the very minor change in this purely hypothetical number, everyone has missed veritable Cinderella story of declining American birth rates - which a teenaged Cinderella goes to the ball and doesn't get knocked up.
Ten years ago the US teen birth rate towered over its comparator countries - 2.5X that of Canada and 6X that of countries like the Netherlands.
Since that time teen births have fallen 60% in the US.

Let's put that in perspective.

444,899 women between the ages of 15 and 19 gave birth in 2007.

In 2019, that number was only 117,381.

Give yourself a pat on the back American. This decline is remarkable.
And if that didn't blow your mind. How about this:

6,195 girls under the age of 15 gave birth in 2007.

In 2019, that number was 1,783.

Good, but seriously need to work on getting that to zero.
One thing that is remarkable about US teen births is how many are NOT giving birth to their first child.

In 2007, 20% of the births to teens that year were to mothers having their second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eight children.

In 2018, that share is 16%.
What's my point? Well, no one really knows how many children a 15-year-old who did not give birth in 2019 will have over the next 30 years.

This is a big problem with the very hypothetical Total Fertility Rate in a time which teen births are rapidly falling.
Maybe the 15-year-old who had her teen birth averted in 2019 will have fewer children than the 15-year-old who gave birth in 2007.

But then again maybe she will spend more time in school, and later find that she can afford a bigger family.

I don't know, do you?
Finally, what does all of this mean given the current state of the world?

Nothing. Just don't expect a pandemic baby boom to resolve this low birth rate "crisis".
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