USA births and deaths

I like this graph from “The Changing Demographic Profile of the United States” by Laura B. Shrestha and Elayne J. Heisler, a Congressional Research Service report in 2011.

The Changing Demographic Profile of the United States 2011

The future projection is enlightening. Regarding the past, I knew already that for decades U.S. births have greatly exceeded deaths, despite forty years of having a “Total Fertility Rate” fluctuating around the “replacement rate” (a misleading phrase since most people I ask assume that “replacement” means births equal deaths, which is not what demographers mean when they use the term).

But I had been assuming that quite soon the annual number of births would dip below deaths, given the recent media hype about falling U.S. birth rates. However, this graph indicates that the U.S. Census Bureau expect the number of U.S. births each year will continue to be larger than the number of deaths for decades to come, at least until 2050.

The full report is accessible online: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL32701.pdf

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