May 6, 2021

MAYBE SOCIAL SECURITY SHOULD BE BASED ON HOW MANY KIDS YOU HAVE: The U.S. Birthrate Has Dropped Again. The Pandemic May Be Accelerating the Decline. “Over all, the birthrate declined by 4 percent in 2020. Births were down most sharply in December, when babies conceived at the start of the health crisis would have been born.”

In the old days, this would have led to more kids. But now that everyone has birth control, simply jamming couples together with nothing to do doesn’t lead to more births. And economic uncertainty and social fear don’t help.

Of course, this is just a worsening of an existing trend: I was blogging about the coming global baby bust when InstaPundit was shiny and new: Fertility rate: ‘Jaw-dropping’ global crash in children being born.

Related: The Parent Trap.

Also: car seats as contraception: “Since 1977, U.S. states have passed laws steadily raising the age for which a child must ride in a car safety seat. These laws significantly raise the cost of having a third child, as many regular-sized cars cannot fit three child seats in the back. Using census data and state-year variation in laws, we estimate that when women have two children of ages requiring mandated car seats, they have a lower annual probability of giving birth by 0.73 percentage points. Consistent with a causal channel, this effect is limited to third child births, is concentrated in households with access to a car, and is larger when a male is present (when both front seats are likely to be occupied). We estimate that these laws prevented only 57 car crash fatalities of children nationwide in 2017. Simultaneously, they led to a permanent reduction of approximately 8,000 births in the same year, and 145,000 fewer births since 1980, with 90% of this decline being since 2000.”

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