There are two traditional ways for a nation or a society to propagate itself. You can have a lot of babies. And you can welcome people from other countries.
Historically, the United States has always done pretty well on both fronts. But according to The Economist magazine last week, America is now slipping badly on the baby front. And a whole lot of us are still trying to figure out what we think about immigration.
Such slippage has a powerful influence on the overall economy. The Economist asserts: "Although America's fiscal problems are among the worst in the rich world, its policymakers long took comfort that, when it came to demography, its outlook was one of the best. Because Americans have so many babies and welcome so many immigrants, they had more room to deal with the coming burden of pensions and health care for the elderly.
"But the savage recession of 2007-09 and its aftermath have not just deepened America's fiscal hole; they have weakened those demographic advantages. America's fertility rate has been falling since 2007, as has net immigration." And a weakened economy makes the United States a less attractive destination for would-be immigrants.
Specifically, our government's Census Bureau reported only five years ago that we were headed for a national population of 436 million by the year 2050. Last week, the same authorities changed that prediction to say we will have 400 million people--a drastic fall of some 9 percent.
So is the Christian community similar in these regards to the overall population? I tried hard a few weeks ago, while my wife and I were serving as greeters for the morning worship service at our church, to keep a mental record of how many children were in each of the families that walked by--and adding them up as they went.
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SOURCE: WORLD Magazine