Who has the cure for America’s declining birthrate? Canada: Shikha Dalmia

(Shikha Dalmia is a visiting fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. This column first appeared in the New York Times on August 18, 2021)

  • Over the last century, two moments that transformed America and positioned it as the global economic leader were the post-World War II economic boom and the I.T. revolution of the 1990s. In both cases, America tore down many forms of discrimination and other barriers to harness the talents of marginalized groups in the country and to welcome new ones, injecting demographic vitality into the economy. To continue America’s upward trajectory in the 21st century, the country must reverse its current demographic decline. As the Census Bureau reported last week, in the past decade, the U.S. population grew at the second-slowest rate since the government started counting in 1790 — and the slowest since the 1930s. The most expeditious way out might be if the federal government gave up its monopoly on immigration and allowed states to bring in workers from anywhere in the world, based on their own labor needs, without being held to federal quotas. The growing concern is that the United States is facing a population bust. The U.S. fertility rate, which had bucked Europe’s low-fertility trend during the last century, is now around 1.73 children per woman — roughly on par with that of Denmark and Britain…

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