Fewer Babies Creates a Different Future

According to a report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the birth rate in the United States for calendar year 2017 was a 30-year low. The rate was down 2 percent from 2016 and continues a pattern of decline, which began in 2007. In fact, in terms of the age of the mother, the only age group that saw an increase in births was women in their 40s.

This sustained decline in birth rates, coupled with declines in immigration, has the potential to significantly affect the total U.S. population in the years ahead. It can influence the economy and economic growth in multiple ways. This could lead to future labor shortages as well as create challenges associated with caring for an aging population. For school districts and higher education, the downside could be even more pronounced as the pool of available students will continue to shrink.

Unlike other challenges where you can shift strategy or alter your approach in response to external factors, there is no ability to go back in time and have more babies. The future trajectory is essentially set; and the resulting implications will have to be faced head on.

About Raymond Kennelly

Senior Vice President for Enrollment Management, Marketing and Planning at Lewis University Skilled in Strategic Planning, Recruiting, Public Speaking, Media Relations and Curriculum Development.

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