Government’s power over fertility rates is limited, but not nonexistent. America has no real family policy to speak of at the moment, and the evidence from countries like Sweden and France suggests that reducing the ever-rising cost of having kids can help fertility rates rebound. Whether this means a more family-friendly tax code, a push for more flexible work hours, or an effort to reduce the cost of college, there’s clearly room for creative policy to make some difference.
More broadly, a more secure economic foundation beneath working-class Americans would presumably help promote childbearing as well. Stable families are crucial to prosperity and mobility, but the reverse is also true, and policies that made it easier to climb the economic ladder would make it easier to raise a family as well.
One trend stands clearly out. Most countries that are taxed heavily (to the right of average in the top chart) have the lowest population growth (to the left of average in the bottom chart). Countries with high tax rates such as France, Italy, Germany & Sweden tend to have lower population growth while lower tax rates countries Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Luxemburg & Mexico have higher birth rates.
I’m sure I’ll get the world famous “correlation is not causation” comment. That being said, it is still very hard to argue that as taxes increase, population growth will decrease. Common sense will tell you when families hand over more money to the government, there is less money available to raise children.
Just thought I’d point this out…