Berk's Blog

US births break baby boom record: 4,317,119

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More babies were born in the United States in 2007 than any year in the nation’s history, topping the peak during the baby boom 50 years earlier, federal researchers at the National Center for Health Statistics reported Wednesday.

in 2007, for the first time, the number of births in the United States eclipsed the previous record, set in 1957 at the peak of the postwar baby boom, and unchallenged ever since. (The 2007 number was 4,317,119.)

6a0105367c6ad9970b01156ecebdd5970c-500wihe new numbers suggest the second year of a baby boomlet. On average, a U.S. woman has 2.1 babies in her lifetime. That’s the “magic number” required for a population to replace itself.

Countries with much lower rates – such as Japan and Italy – face future labor shortages and eroding tax bases as they fail to reproduce enough to take care of their aging elders.

And this is another reason we need to fix the Great Recession soon. The lowest birth rates occurred in the 1930s during the Great Depression and that was before there was modern contraception. The U.S. is the only modern Western country whose birth rates have been increasing. And it’s a good thing too because it’s likely that the current chaos will at least slow down the birth rate – and slow down the migration of the population with the highest birthrates – the hispanics.

It shows how disruptive and unique a demographic event the baby boom, those born between 1946 and 1964, was that it took 50 years for its peak year to be matched in terms of the absolute number of births. Of course, the birth rate does not come close as percentage of a much smaller population back then.

And our current baby boomlet got me thinking about the eighty million of those boomers who are now age 45 – 63. This entire baby boom generation just five months ago thought an early comfortable three-decade retirement was their entitlement.

Then came September 2008. The financial system and the broader economy descended into chaos. Suddenly noone was talking about retirement but where to stash the cash earning virtually 0%.

These people were driving their brokers and advisors for more “performance” never asking about risk. Well, now they don’t not know when they are going to be able to retire—if they are going to be able to retire—and on what. Now more than ever, they need to sit down with an advisor to start a retirement plan all over again.

Most important, they a need an advisor with a long-term mentality but who understands that traditional stock investing strategies need to be modified to make them effective in this kind of market – a range-bound market.