Houston Chronicle: Immigrants Are the Cure for Declining Birthrates in the United States

This nation's birth rate has hit an historic low, foreshadowing a future in which there aren't as many Americans to work, pay taxes, and contribute to the workforce is a variety of other ways. 

The Houston Chronicle's editorial board raised the issue in an article called "America’s unique antidote for declining birth rates,” noting that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported about 3.8 million births in the US last year, the lowest number in 30 years. 

“The nation’s general fertility rate was 60.2 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44, which represented a 3 percent drop from 2016,” the editorial noted. The board also pointed to the fact that if it weren’t for immigrant mothers, the numbers would be even worse.

From the editorial: 

The assertion that immigrants are a drain on the economy is false, according an analysis by the Wharton School of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. “Although immigrants increase the supply of labor, they also spend their wages on homes, food, TVs, and other goods and services and expand domestic economic demand,” said the analysis.

“Immigrants, whether high- or low-skilled, legal or illegal, are unlikely to replace native-born workers or reduce their wages over the long-term,” the Wharton researchers said. “Indeed, the experience of the last few decades suggests that immigration may actually have significant long-term benefits for the native-born, pushing them into higher-paying occupations.”

Look no further than Arizona for a lesson in how anti-immigrant policies can contribute to America’s baby gloom. Between 2007 and last year, the Grand Canyon State saw an overall 20 percent drop in births, from 103,000 to 81,000. A major factor in the decline, according to Arizona State University researcher Tom Rex, was a crackdown on immigrants entering the state illegally to find work.

The full editorial is here


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