In previous commentaries, I have talked about how Europe and other countries in the world are facing a demographic winter, but now it seems that America is headed in the same direction. John Stonestreet talks about this in a Breakpoint commentary.
A country needs a fertility rate of about 2.1 children per woman in order to maintain its population. The population will shrink if that number drops below that number (unless compensated by increasing levels of immigration).
Greece, Italy, Spain, and Germany have a fertility rate less than 1.4. The United States currently has a fertility rate of less than 1.9. This is a significant drop off since the postwar baby boom that reached a fertility rate of 3.8 children per woman.
America’s drop in fertility has been masked by immigration. Immigrants produced children that native-born Americans were not having. Also, these immigrants tended to have higher fertility rates.
In previous commentaries, I also have talked about the fact that the fertility rate varies from group to group. For example, conservatives have more children than liberals. Christians have more children than secularists. As you might imagine, secular liberals have been writing about this “fertility gap” because they realize that Christians are giving birth to future Christians, and conservatives are having more future conservatives. That doesn’t always happen since universities and the secular media have been fairly effective at converting Christian kids into atheists and conservative students into progressives.
Sometimes it is difficult to see the prospect of a decline in America’s population when you look at the crowded nursery at your church. Christians, in general, have higher fertility rates. We know that children are a gift from the Lord and rejoice with a quiver full of them (Psalm 127:3-5). Sadly, we live in a world that does not view children as God’s gift. That is why we are headed for a demographic winter.