Firstly a reader sent me this link, which among other things included these interesting details:
An Associated Press review of birth numbers dating to 1909 found the total number of U.S. births was the highest since 1961, near the end of the baby boom....
The report also showed births becoming more common in nearly every age and racial or ethnic group. Birth rates increased for women in their 20s, 30s and early 40s, not just teens. They rose for whites, blacks, Hispanics, American Indians and Alaska Natives. The rate for Asian women stayed about the same.
Total births jumped 3 percent in 2006, the largest single-year increase since 1989, according to the CDC's preliminary data.
Clearly, U.S. birth rates are not what they were in the 1950s and early 1960s, when they were nearly twice as high and large families were much more common. The recent birth numbers are more a result of many women having a couple of kids each, rather than a smaller number of mothers, each bearing several children, Astone said.
Demographers say there has been at least one boomlet before, around 1990, when annual U.S. births broke 4.1 million for two straight years before dropping to about 3.9 million in the mid-1990s. Adolescent childbearing was up at the time, but so were births among other groups, and experts aren't sure what explained that bump.
Secondly a short guest post from occasional DM contributor and Japan Economy Watcher, Scott Peterson.
US Demography As Of 2007
by Scott Peterson
The US Census Bureau recently released its population estimates as of July 1, 2007. The data showing population change between 2006 and 2007 can be found here. The analysis showing components of population change can be found here. Notably, the population increase of just under 2.9 million amounted to only a 1% increase. International migration contributed only a little bit more than 1 million new residents or a measly .3% increase. A change of this magnitude is likely to cause minimal strain on the country's economic or social systems. Specifically, if one assumes a correlation between population growth and GDP growth(not unreasonable given that consumer spending makes up something like 70% of GDP), certainly 1% is nothing to get excited about in terms of GDP growth.
In terms of internal migration, the data shows that the Western region of the country had essentially zero net domestic migration. This is quite remarkable as for the last 30 years the West was attracting large numbers of migrants from the eastern part of the country.
The data distribution of population throughout the US is thought provoking. The government divides the country into four regions: Northeast, Midwest, South, and West. This categorization seems reasonable. The regions rank in population as follows: South-110 million, West-70 million, Midwest-66 million, and Northeast-55 million. So the region which has been the political and industrial leader of the US for most of its history now has the least population. Although there has been much discussion of outmigration from the Northeast and Midwest over the years, the magnitude of the gap in population levels between the traditional power centers and the South and West is now rather eye-popping. We should expect significant changes in US political and economic decision making in the future as a result.