Lee Releases Report on Consequences of Declining Fertility for Social Capital
WASHINGTON—Today, Ranking Member Mike Lee (R-UT) released a new Joint Economic Committee report on the consequences of declining fertility for social capital.
In 2020, the total fertility rate in the United States reached its lowest point on record, and Americans continue to not have enough children to maintain the current population. The JEC's latest report shows how lower fertility rates, fewer children, and smaller families result in thinner social support networks.
The share of prime parenting age adults who do not have children has grown from 14 percent in 1970 to 31 percent today. In addition, the JEC estimates that the share of 10-year-old children without any siblings has more than doubled since 1970, reducing the number of long-term family relationships a person has over their life. Fewer and smaller families also weaken support networks for the elderly, leading to poorer mental and physical health outcomes in old age. The report estimates that only 58 percent of 75-year-old adults will have any children of their own by 2061.
Ranking Member Lee said, "Children are our future. Fewer children and fewer parents in society mean thinner layers of the most fundamental type of social support. Policies that make it more affordable to raise a family and that encourage healthy family relationships can support and strengthen parents and their children."
The Joint Economic Committee is Congress's bicameral economic research center and home of the Social Capital Project, led by Ranking Member Mike Lee.