The stork is not working overtime:
10.6 million – the number of babies born in China in 2021, the lowest since 1949. The one child policy put in place in 1980 was highly effective. Now China needs more babies, but urban couples are balking. Like everywhere, raising more children is increasingly expensive. (Barron’s)
7.3 million – the number of births in the U.S. over the two-year period 2020-2021 (@3.5 million per year), the fewest births in back-to-back years in 40 years. Like China, the U.S. birth rate is slowing, and unless it picks up or is counterbalanced by immigration, our GDP growth rate long term will fall. (National Vital Statistics)
In praise of the IRS (I know it sounds crazy but occasionally praise for the IRS is in order):
24 million – the backlog of tax returns which will be cleaned up by the end of 2022.
13 hours – the amount of time Americans spend doing their taxes today versus 18 hours in 2010. (This one I am not sure about. People spending less time on their tax returns? The form 1040 plus instructions now totals 230 pages. All praise to the productivity of TurboTax I guess).
20 percent – the amount the IRS budget has been cut since 2010 even as the number of returns has grown by 20%. (IRS stats – The Economist)
As if American Higher Education did not have enough to worry about:
Shrinking – the number of 18–24-year-olds will decline starting by the mid-2020s.
1 million – U.S. college enrollments are down by this amount since 2019.
Foreign student enrollment – also down. Especially from China, which had been the big supplier of high pay enrollees. (Just getting from China to the U.S. today, or vice versa, is well-nigh impossible). (Education stats – The Kiplinger Letter)
China is de-emphasizing English in their core curriculum both at the primary and secondary levels. (The Economist)
I guess they expect the world to learn Chinese. That won’t happen! The list of “Category V – super-hard languages” includes Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Japanese, and Korean. These are only for the masochists including sadly, yours truly (Mandarin).
Finally, where are Americans moving these days (see chart below)?