Raw Data: The Declining US Fertility Rate

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.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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