A new report released this month focuses on how the drop of birth rates and the increase of retiring seniors is affecting the United States. Although the national birth rate is on a decline, Utah is maintaining a significantly higher birth rate than most other states.
“What you will have happening in a state like Utah is you’ve got enough local population generation to actually meet a lot of your needs,” said Mark Wietecha, the president and CEO of the Children’s Hospital Association in Washington.
Wietecha’s organization, along with the Lucille Packard Foundation for Children, released a report this month about the declining birth rates.
“One of the things we have noted though is that the higher growth states often times will have numbers of people moving there from other states,” Wietecha said.
This means although Utah may not have the same concerns regarding an aging population as other states, the children raised in Utah are not necessarily going to be the adults making up the state’s workforce.
The recently released report called “The Importance of Children in America,” is prefaced with the statistic that 40 percent of adults born in the United States join the workforce in a different state than they were born and received childhood healthcare and education.
Because of this, Wietecha said, people of all states need to be focus on meeting the needs of the nation's children as a whole.
"This is a broader public issue,” Wietcha said. “This is really not affordable for any individual family or any individual people to pay for all their own healthcare. It’s really not affordable for individual people to create all of their educational structure. This requires a country. It requires a government. It requires all of us.”
In order for the country to continue having a large enough workforce, Wietecha said it is important that national policy decisions are geared towards meeting the needs of all 80 million children in the United States.