Baby Bust? U.S. Birth Rate Is Lowest Since 1976
" " The U.S. has a population that's increasingly grayer, with a declining rate of births and people living longer lives. And the total fertility rate, or TFR — the number of children that the average woman theoretically would have during her lifetime, based upon current age-specific fertility rates — dropped to 1.76, the lowest since 1976. That year, 4.3 million children were born, and the TFR reached 3.76, another historical high, and slightly more than twice the rate today. But even though the economy gradually recovered, the birth and fertility rates kept going down. And with fewer workers paying Social Security and Medicare taxes, the entitlement programs that many Americans depend upon to survive in old age will come under increasing stress.