NM birth rate within context of declining national rate

The issue of America’s declining birth rate (and the relative rates among US states) is an interesting addendum to conversations that we so often have at Rio Grande Foundation about mobility (people tending to leave NM) and the aging of our nation and various states including New Mexico.

The following map highlights which US states are having more or fewer babies. Notably, no US state is hitting the replacement rate of 2.1. Not surprisingly, “blue” states are seeing the lowest birth rates with the West Coast and New England having the lowest birth rates. For a “blue” state New Mexico has a relatively high birth rate (higher than Colorado and Illinois, for example). New Mexico DOES have a higher rate than Montana (a “red” state) while Minnesota and Hawaii have relatively high birth rates for “blue” states.

How much of an issue/problem America’s low birth rates are is open to debate as is whether anything can be done about them in terms of government policy. However, there is no doubt that declining birth rates and the aging of our population will have some profound and unpalatable impacts on the economy. 

The decline in student enrollment at Albuquerque Public Schools is just one of many notable challenges resulting in part from the “birth dearth.”