A man holds his grandson. The world’s population is expected to begin to decline this century.

America’s fertility rate has hit a new low, which has been the nation’s birthrate story of late. One issue policymakers and planners ponder is the impact that will have on programs that serve the elderly, such as Social Security. | Raul Rodriguez, Fotoluminate LLC—Adobe Stock

Demographers say the number of people will likely begin to shrink during this century. When that starts, consequences follow.

Latvia’s current population bust may not provide a perfect glimpse into how the United States eventually shrinks and declines. For one thing, that country’s unique history of Soviet occupation has made it so suspicious of the one thing that could save it — a more generous immigration policy — that it seems to be committing demographic suicide.

And yet, Latvia’s empty smaller towns, with, as The Wall Street Journal described it this week, sagging roofs over empty houses and a lack of restaurants where people can sit to eat, may indeed describe the United States one day for the children or grandchildren of today’s adults.

That may not be the topic at a lot of dinner parties right now, assuming people still hold such things. Bring up the subject of population and the average person probably still sees the problem as one of too many people.

Demographers know better. The opposite is true.

Latvia has lost 17% of its population since 2004, the year it entered the European Union.

As the Journal put it, “Latvia is on the front line of what could become one of the defining challenges for the industrialized world: It is running out of people.”

Such a thing may be hard to imagine in the United States right now, and especially in Utah. Entrata, the property management software company, issued a report this week that showed rents rising …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News


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