Ultimate Indicator Shows US Never Recovered From The '08 Great Financial Crisis

Authored by Chris Hamilton via Econimica blog,

The ultimate indicator of personal economic confidence is the determination to perpetuate the species and have children.  The chart below shows annual US births from 1910 through 2017 and it is estimated there were 3.84 million births in 2017, nearly a hundred thousand fewer than in 2016. 

The 2017 figure is also nearly a half million fewer than the late 1950's baby boom era peak and likewise below the subsequent mid 2000's double peak.  The 2017 figure is also nearly six hundred thousand below the Census estimates provided as recently as 2000 and 2008.

To offer some perspective, the chart below shows annual births versus total US population...despite the total population nearly doubling since 1957, the US had 11% fewer children in 2017 than 1957...or 2007.

More poignantly, below is the US childbearing population (those aged 15 to 45 years old)...the red columns represent the annual change while the blue line is the total 15 to 45 year old population.  As can be plainly seen, the growth of the childbearing cohort represented by the "baby boom" on the left dwarfed the growth represented by "millennials", on the right.  Of course, on a relative basis (%), the millennials represent less than a third the annual quantity of growth than the boomers offered...and millennials high levels of education driven indebtedness and poor quality of employment, etc. mean the quality of growth they represent is even lower than their numbers would indicate.

A last note regarding millennials, their estimated "growth" was never organic (as births essentially never exceeded those during the "boomer" period) and instead was almost entirely dependent on estimates of continued high rates of immigration...the same immigration that has dramatically slowed since the early 2000's.  Chart below shows the sources of 15 to 64 year old population growth (declining births vs. immigration...annual average per 5 year periods) since 1970.  Given this, there is a high probability that the size of the millennials significantly undershoots estimates.

Births continue to decline since 2007 (represented by columns in the graph below) while the Census birth estimates continue to tumble (lines below represent select Census Est.'s from 2000 through 2017).  The Census estimates for '00 and '08 (essentially identical) anticipated annual births would rise to 5.7 million by 2050 (and continue rising thereafter).  However, after the '09 GFC and '10 Decennial Census, the Census Bureau began dramatically reducing their present and future estimates for growth.  Nevertheless, each reduction was still far too optimistic.

Total births continue to surprise to the downside and significantly lower estimates are needed if the Census forecasts are going to match reality.  I offer a more realistic "guesstimate" (dark blue line) based on the ongoing changes to the childbearing population and current trends.  Even immigrants quickly norm to the lower fertility rates once in the nation.  Simply put, the conditions for family formation and child rearing continue to deteriorate.  The US isn't alone, detailed (HERE), and the situation within the US is dire detailed (HERE), (HERE), and (HERE) but the question remains.  Why are birth rates and total births declining amid a growing population and record levels of wealth?

The chart below shows the fast decelerating US fertility rate versus record Household Net Worth.  The previous peaks in HHNW saw corresponding upticks in the fertility rate, but not this time.

Unfortunately, since '07, nearly all the benefits of this record "wealth" creation are being accrued by a fraction of Americans.  The federal government and Federal Reserve programs have benefited asset holders while penalizing the working class with fast rising costs of living (record rents as a % of income, record insurance, higher education costs, reduction/elimination of pensions and job related benefits, etc. etc.) absent the higher wages with which to pay for these.  It appears the present and future generations opportunities are being sacrificed to maintain and further a select group in the here and now.

The chart below details the growth in household net worth by income levels from '07 through '16.  Those that have significant assets have been further enriched...those without have been punished (and as the saying goes, "the beatings will continue until morale improves").

The continuation of the present policies will only further grossly enrich a shrinking minority while continue to penalize those of childbearing age (among others).  This will only further push the birth rate into negative territory (well below replacement level).  The Fed's inequitable cure is essentially saving the elderly patient at the expense of the present and future of the patients offspring.  The merit of an economic system which results in the childbearing populace unable and/or unwilling to perpetuate the species is sorely in need of reconsideration and reconstruction.


Shillinlikeavillan DillyDilly Tue, 03/20/2018 - 10:17 Permalink

"The ultimate indicator"


Yea, give me a fuckin break.


When the great depression went down, that generation was so mentally fucked that alot of them never stopped acting like they were poor even thou they had literally thousands of dollars buried in the back yard.


We have at least 1 1/2 generations or so that have been living in a shit economy, do you really expect them to go "YAY! We are saved! Lets throw how we lived for the past 12 years out the window!" overnight?


In reply to by DillyDilly

Life of Illusion overbet Tue, 03/20/2018 - 10:34 Permalink




rent-backed securities


“My hope was that these private equity firms would provide a new kind of rental housing for people who couldn’t—or didn’t want to—buy during the housing recovery,” Elora Raymond, the lead author of the Atlanta Fed study, told Bloomberg in January 2017. “Instead, it seems like they’re contributing to housing instability in Atlanta, and possibly other places.”


In reply to by overbet

Adolph.H. Life of Illusion Tue, 03/20/2018 - 10:38 Permalink

The growth rate was unsustainable. With no purpose in their lives  why would you expect millennials to gird their loins for love? And why should should everything increase constantly? Besides being the pipe dream of every bankster this is utterly stupid.

The way forward is to have some kind of extinction event or war and then you'll get a natural birthrate rise. 

No species reproduce when they live in luxury and entitlement. 

America needs misery. Badly. This or you'll be submerged by Mexicans and rapefugees. 

Fortunately this is just around the corner, thanks to the beloved Bolshevik rulers you so love. Brace. 

In reply to by Life of Illusion

FBaggins ThanksChump Tue, 03/20/2018 - 12:28 Permalink

Perhaps if the headline had been something like Birth dearth of the West the Ultimate Indicator of Economic Crisis, you would be more interested.  

The article is very informative and intended to get people thinking about our more deeply rooted socio-economic problems rather than just the daily selections of the drive-by media.  We are living during a time when most, if not then - too many - young people not only look at marriage and having kids as some kind of ultimate catastrophe and overwhelming burden depriving them not only of their freedom to find fulfillment in careers, sexual freedom, hobbies, travel etc., but as something they cannot even imagine financially affording. Over half of their job opportunities have been offshored by our greedy oligarchs and the young have in effect have to compete against the Chinese for a decent wage.

Added to this mess you have the deliberate efforts of our thoroughly rotten Western establishment (Bilderberg, Trilateral Commission, CFR, Rothschild banksters, royalty, Fabian socialists, and multinational Tillerson types) which more than 50 years ago spawned and promoted their own monster offspring which they called ZPG (Zero Population Growth) and promoted under the guises of such organizations as Planned Parenthood and countless US agendas and NGO.s . They have done everything in their omnipotent financial, media, entertainment, political, judicial, and educational power to destroy family values everywhere their ugly tentacles could reach. They are behind the current and deliberate orchestration of the breakdown of natural gender difference and all barriers which stand in the way of diversifying sexuality away from procreative ends, which orchestration we see as rife in the media, the entertainment industry, so-called “human rights” tribunals, courts, legislatures, and in our kindergartens, schools and colleges. They have systematically weeded out from the mainstream media and from all public systems and offices anyone with traditional family or natural-law-based values.

There is the saying that those who live by the sword die by the sword. The Western establishment has propagated this devastation on everyone, but the blight has had its worst effect on the people of the West.  Unless we stop them and bring these monsters to account we will surely parish as a civilization. But that is not the main the reason for demanding radical change and accountability. Look around – there are so few kids.  Those that are here - so many of them are confused and seriously damaged from broken families and abuse. In our modern establishment-propagated, hedonistic, here-and-now culture, we have literally pushed them out of the picture as incidental, rather than them being the very sign and exemplar of human freedom and happiness.

In reply to by ThanksChump

BandGap Adolph.H. Tue, 03/20/2018 - 11:11 Permalink

"No species reproduce when they live in luxury and entitlement."

Uh, total bullshit. Nature has them breed until they die off from overpopulation.

The problem with this country is educated, middle and upper middle class people are not having children. But people on assistance are doing so in frightening numbers, thus straining the system.

In reply to by Adolph.H.

Dwellerman Life of Illusion Tue, 03/20/2018 - 11:34 Permalink

Single Mothers are currently the predominate percentage of births in America - something like 40% of all white births and 80% of all black births in the USA are to Single Mothers. No home ownership required for this scenario - big daddy gov't provides, while law enforcement protects - not husband, no father, no extended family, no property, 'no problem'. Strong Independent Single Motherhood! doesn't need Home Ownership... That's part of the oppressive Evil White Male Patriarchy which needs to be crushed at all costs.

In reply to by Life of Illusion

slopz38 Hotapplebottoms Tue, 03/20/2018 - 12:11 Permalink

I a­m m­a­k­ing 8­5 bu­ck­s h­ou­rl­y f­or w­ork­­i­ng fr­­om ho­me. I n­ev­­er th­o­ug­ht th­­at i­­t wa­s­ le­­g­­it bu­t m­­­y ­be­st f­r­ie­nd­ is ea­rni­­ng 1­­0 th­­ou­­­­sa­nd do­­ll­­ar­­s a ­mo­­­n­­th b­y wo­­­rk­­in­g o­­n­­li­ne a­­nd sh­­­e r­ec­­omm­­­en­­de­­d m­­e t­­o t­r­­y i­­t. T­ry i­­t o­­ut on f­­ol­­lo­wi­­ng we­­bsi­­te, y­­­­­ou ha­­ve no­­th­in­­g t­o lo­­se...<

In reply to by Hotapplebottoms

ZeroSpam Adolph.H. Wed, 03/21/2018 - 02:43 Permalink

▲▲▲   Slopz38  ▲▲▲ CHRONIC SPAMMER  ▲▲▲ VIRUS ALERT ▲▲▲


>>>>   Slopz38 posted this identical spam post   **75 times** in one day, March 20!!!

This chronic thread-hijacker and poster of "My last paycheck..." spam with Multiple Log-on's (aka "stizazz" and "pier" "beepbop"  "Braveforce"  "PRIVETHEDGE"  "SLOPZ38" "LLOLL"  "JUMANJI1959" -- hopefully banned) is a CHRONIC SPAMMER whose "disguised links" (under other log-on's) will take you to his Spam- and Trojan-laden webpages, fondly known by ZHers as "The Whacked Out Biblicism SPAM page" or "BIBLICISM GOES PORNO" where you will be the happy recipient of numerous virus from this very disturbed and obsessed individual, spamming here for more than five years.

•celebrity-leaks (porn)
•"I made $7000 last week ..... this is what I do"


Copy and send this text to abuse@zerohedge.com

Please remove all postings and ban log-on from user "LLOLL" who chronically SPAM posts short-URL links to his virus- and trojan-filled website. This is the same individual posting chronically as  "stizazz" and "pier" "beepbop"  "Braveforce"  "PRIVETHEDGE"  "SLOPZ38" "LLOLL"  "JUMANJI1959, among dozens of other banned log-ons [that's YOU "dailywesterner" and "biblicisminstitute" and "celebrity-leaks" (porn) and "I made $7000 last week...."]. Thank you.

In reply to by Adolph.H.

tion Life of Illusion Tue, 03/20/2018 - 12:05 Permalink

It’s not that simple. A number of ladies I went to school with are living in huge McMansions but their husbands can’t knock them up. They put the McMansion before the kids and now they can’t even have any. Lots of infertility issues. Widespread endocrine disrupters in everything, iodine/b/antioxidant deficiencies.

My childhood bff who was very responsible with money when she was in very young adulthood, as their first home, she and her hub bought a ~3500 sq ft McMansion in one of the most expensive areas in the state to shelter their future children. Her father spent decades working 60+ hours a week as an exec in a heavy industries company, and her house is even fancier than the retirement house he had built for her Mom. Her fifty feet of granite countertop is nice and all, but she can’t afford to take the time off work to have kids, she is on her feet for long shifts. Living above your means, debt, and feminism issues.

They would have all been great parents, as the years drag on I feel increasingly sad for them.

In reply to by Life of Illusion

Crazy Or Not tion Tue, 03/20/2018 - 18:20 Permalink

A big part of the problem is the tabboo subject of WIFI and mobile microwaves. Sadly the human body was designed only for universal background radiation levels. Urban WIFI overlaps, multiple devices (and reading your mobile in the lap area) contribute to levels that are over a BILLION times stronger than natural background rads.

Probably the leading researcher on cell phone/cell tower radiation/microwave damage - is this guy (and he's not popular with manufacturers!!!)


In reply to by tion

commoncourtesy Life of Illusion Tue, 03/20/2018 - 14:47 Permalink

As you show, housing is a huge investment (on paper) in more ways than one, also for bankers (charging interest on imaginary credit (as mortgages), re-selling secured loans, insurance, etc...). Governments also make easy money (stamp duty, capital gains, other taxes) as do politicians (flipping homes) and wall street (credit defaults, securitizing cheques, property co. stocks and shares, default swaps, etc...)... 

 ...and in the UK most employers demand QUALIFICATIONS, so many of the younger generations have also been sold (often pointless) degrees around £10k per year leaving them with up to £50k worth of debt. They were told if they don't have them they won't be able to work.

Combine this with jobs offering zero hours contracts, and it is no wonder there is a growing inter-generational wealth divide.

In reply to by Life of Illusion

commoncourtesy JohnGaltUk Tue, 03/20/2018 - 17:16 Permalink

Can't possibly comment, I don't watch tell-a-lie-vision or the British Bull-sh*t Corporation.

For the 6 or 7 hours a week tuition my Daughter received for her combined English Lit and her/His-story degree, I was mugged.

You could start a media revolution and/or offer to do a bj (sorry I meant PR job) for Terry May.

By the way your above comment about 'homes beings somewhere to live' is spot on. 

In reply to by JohnGaltUk

bshirley1968 lester1 Tue, 03/20/2018 - 11:17 Permalink

There are a few more factors involved than just the economic forces, like feminism, careers over family, social perception of being a "mom".

However, I would agree that the economic factors are the most prevalent. Children are seen as a "cost" rather than an asset. Our society has turned them into an expensive, money pit. Medical cost, daycare, Christmas, school, college, sporting activities, up keep, etc. are just some of the general areas that require massive amounts of money from a middle class family. Then people see other people's children, the little monsters they are because mommy and daddy don't have the stomach for discipline. Society has been indoctrinated that children are holy and not to be disciplined or punished, rather let them do what pleases them. That's how we get the Nicholas Cruz'es of the world. Another area is the perceived pain associated with being a parent. The thought that their children will suffer pain or hardship as a result of war or economic downturn, weighs heavily on prospective parents.

So between the "cost", inconvenience to life goals, and the trouble of dealing with the little brats, you can see why birth rates might be down.

My children are the greatest treasure and responsibility I will ever have in this life. They are a big part of what gives my life meaning. If more people were focused on being a dad or a mom and less focused on being a good worker or making more money, or getting moar before someone else does, the world would be a better place. If more parents would start rearing and training their children to be the people they ought to be rather than letting them be the punks they want to be, society would be a lot better.

In reply to by lester1

swmnguy bshirley1968 Tue, 03/20/2018 - 11:38 Permalink

I agree with everything you observe, though I differ with you on some of the whys and wherefores.

I think "feminism, careers over family, social perception of being a 'mom' " stem from economic forces.  As salaries peaked and declined relative to inflation, a single wage-earner (usually male) could no longer support a family on a single full-time job.  This necessitated women entering the workforce and fed a vicious cycle of downward pressure on wages.  Social attitudes adapted to rationalize and excuse the ruthless wage suppression.

America absolutely hates children.  Go anywhere else in the world, downtown at rush hour, and you'll see whole families going about their business.  Not in America.  Children are segregated.  Americans hate to see children on an airplane or in a restaurant.  When my kids were little people would glare at us, and then later come up and praise us for how well-behaved our kids were, and credit us on how we "disciplined" them.  We'd just smile, but it was horseshit.  We never "disciplined" our kids.  We never really had rules.

Rules and discipline were irrelevant and counterproductive to our purpose.  If we wanted our kids to grow up to have discipline and follow rules, we'd get them into an ROTC program and have them join the god-damn Army.  No; we wanted our kids to grow up to be autonomous, honest, kind, effective adults who could deal with people and situations.  To do that, we never drilled them with rules and discipline.  We explained situations, how people handle them well and poorly and what the difference is, with examples that were relevant to them.  We pointed out children behaving well and badly.  We involved them in the situation. 

Before going into a restaurant or grocery, we made sure they'd had enough sleep to be alert enough to behave.  We had them think through what we were doing.  We gave them the list in the grocery.  We had them think of what they wanted to eat in a restaurant.  When they lost patience we took them outside to walk around and gather themselves so they could go back inside and behave properly.  It's not rocket science.  They're little people without the experience and frame of reference, so it's up to parents to provide that, and when done properly, children crave approval from adults and will behave as well as they are able.  It does require a parent to have some self-awareness, and to remember what it felt like to be a kid.

The costs and penalties America imposes on parenting are self-defeating.  People point out that it's the middle class that isn't having kids; that's because of such penalties.  The lower classes are too alienated to care; even without kids the hurdles to upward mobility are so high they don't see that it makes a difference, and they're probably correct.  People who envy those on welfare are especially perverse in their thinking.  Resignation to a miserable existence is not a state to be envied.

Millennials aren't having kids for the same reason they aren't buying cars or houses.  They've been looted by corporate finance domination of higher education and healthcare.  When a college degree is required for a secretary position, and that entails over $100,000 in debt in return for a $30,000 annual wage, that induces birth control, use of mass transit, and renting.  Hey, that's what I did 30 years ago when I was working full time at about the poverty level.  I didn't have the college debt, but I didn't have the degree either.  I had the advantage of having grown up poor in a household with upper-middle-class values and expectations, so I had the wherewithal to pull myself up.  Most don't.

There are far fewer barriers to entry in America to buy a gun or have a kid than there are to buy a car or a house or, heaven forbid, remodel a bathroom.  That's kind of fucked up and produces the results one should expect, and which we see all around us.

In reply to by bshirley1968

Sunnyinnyc swmnguy Tue, 03/20/2018 - 13:43 Permalink

Exactly right.  It's really sad how we don't provide support for working families.  Middle class families where both parents need to work to feel they can comfortably provide for their children are left on their own and I don't blame many of them for choosing not to have kids or to have fewer of them.  Our failure to support working families also penalizes UMC/UC women.  There are far too many bright, well-educated women who feel they have to stay home because the demands of two working parents would be too much.  We also make reentry into the workforce way more difficult than it should be.

In reply to by swmnguy

hardmedicine lester1 Tue, 03/20/2018 - 13:43 Permalink

I can tell you round here in west texas the economy absolutely sucks

literally getting worse and worse.

people walking round here like zombies.

Not sure if there are any answers.  Not sure if even Trump can fix this

The globalists have been in a trade war against the USA for decades.

We are now just the walking dead.



In reply to by lester1

Buck Johnson Cautiously Pes… Tue, 03/20/2018 - 11:35 Permalink

Your on point, but what hey don't realize is that to replace those that aren't having kids will be more people from other countries to take over.  Look at Japan, in 100 years Japanese will be your country not your ethnicity and they ethnicity will be a minority in their own country (even though we know that the Japanese of today looks nowhere near like how they looked and hide mind you thousands of years ago).

So white americans will see their country look at best like brazil and at worst they will be an oddity and not in power.

In reply to by Cautiously Pes…