People over 65 years old will outnumber those under 18 years old in less than 20 years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The birth rate in the United States has been steadily declining since the 1960s, and the past two years have marked a historic low, Fox Business reported Wednesday.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest statistic report on births from 2016 — published in January — reports that “the general fertility rate (GFR) for the United States in 2016 was 62.0 births per 1,000 women aged 15–44, down 1 percent from 2015 (62.5) and a record low rate for the nation.”
While one percent may seem like a small decrease in the number of total births for the country, that percentage actually represents 32,622 births.
This data also shows that the average age for expecting mothers has also increased significantly in recent years. “In 2016, the mean age of mothers at first birth was 26.6 years, an increase from 26.4 in 2015, and another record high for the nation,” the CDC report reads.
What these numbers mean is a decrease in the population of people under the age of 18, and that could mean two things for the country: either millennials are just waiting longer to have children, or the U.S. is headed toward a national crisis.
As Fox Business explains, “If the trend continues — and experts disagree on whether it will — the country could face economic and cultural turmoil.”