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Ramesh Ponnuru

Want More American Babies? Make the U.S. More Livable

A Q&A with demographer Lyman Stone about what it really means to become a more family-friendly society.

Americans want more.

Americans want more.

Photographer: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The U.S. birthrate fell to a record low last year. To get a sense of the implications, I got in touch with the economist and demographer Lyman Stone. He is an adjunct fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (where I also work), a research fellow at the Institute for Family Studies and director of research at Demographic Intelligence. Our conversation, conducted by email, has been edited for length and clarity.

Ramesh Ponnuru: To what extent is the low birthrate we just registered an effect of Covid-19? Should we expect the number to bounce back as the pandemic ends?