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Local News

Report: Decline of Child Population Could Affect GA


Shanteya Hudson

Georgia is one of only a few states to see an increase in its population of children, but a report indicates residents could soon see the impact of a falling rate nationally, which will show up in education, health care, and workforce numbers.

According to a report by the Annie E. Casey foundation, the fertility rate nationwide dropped below 2.1 children per woman in the U.S. in the last decade.

Bill O’Hare, demographer at the Carolina Population Center and the report’s co-author, said it will have an effect on the future of employment.

“As the number of entry-level workers go down, it’s going to be harder for employers to find the kind of people they need for jobs,” O’Hare pointed out.

In 2020, there were 1 million fewer children in the U.S. than a decade ago, with Georgia having a fertility rate of 55.7 children per 1,000 women.

O’Hare noted with fewer kids being born, more money could be spent on each child’s education, but on the other hand, he said fewer children could signal less support for schools.

“As the numbers of households, number of adults, and voters who don’t have a child in the household goes down because the number of children goes down, they may be less supportive of public institutions or education,” O’Hare pointed out.

The study suggested the downward trend in the population of children is not likely to change. It also shows low fertility rates elevate the importance of each child, and even immigration as a means of population and economic growth.

Disclosure: The Annie E. Casey Foundation contributes to our fund for reporting on Children’s Issues, Education, Juvenile Justice, and Welfare Reform. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

This story was written by Shanteya Hudson, a producer at Public News Service, where this story first appeared.