This is literally apropos of nothing. I happened to get pointed to a Ross Douthat tweetstorm about declining fertility rates, and it made me curious about what our fertility rate actually looks like. So here it is:
I really have nothing at all to say about this. As it turns out, our fertility rate did start dropping during the Great Recession. It seemed like it was flattening out around 2013, but then it started declining again. Does this matter? Is it a blip, or a sign of problems to come? Does it mean we need more immigrants? Should I even care if our population is going to start shrinking a few decades from now? Robots are going to be running the whole planet by then, after all. It all beats me. But at least now you know what the basic shape of the water is.