Public school populations have been steadily declining now for years, and while that decline got a big assist from the COVID-19 pandemic, that’s far from the only reason.
In fact, according to the Washington Examiner, a primary cause for school depopulation is national depopulation: That is, Americans are having fewer babies, and thus, fewer public school students.
“In 1980, 18% of Boston’s residents were of school age 1980-2020, Boston added 130,000 residents but school-age children decreased by 25,000 In 2018, only 10.8 percent of Boston’s residents were of school age What does the future hold if Boston is only a city for the childless?” noted Garrett Quinn in a tweet that pointed to an article titled, “What can be done to halt the drop in Boston’s school-age population?”
In 1980, 18% of Boston’s residents were of school age
1980-2020, Boston added 130,000 residents but school-age children decreased by 25,000
In 2018, only 10.8 percent of Boston’s residents were of school age
What does the future hold if Boston is only a city for the childless?
— Garrett Quinn (@GarrettQuinn) December 10, 2021
Boston is becoming “a largely childless city,” local columnist Bill Walczak noted in the above-linked piece. “Last week the Boston Schools Fund disclosed that Boston Public Schools (BPS) enrollment for this school year (2021-22) had sunk to 48,654. It was 57,230 in 2014-15.”
This isn’t just happening in Boston, as the Washington Examiner reports:
Los Angeles County schools, by the time the pandemic hit, were already down 10% from a decade before. The state forecasts enrollment will drop another 20% over the next decade.
Statewide, public school enrollment peaked at 6.23 million in 2014. The state estimates only 5.7 million students by 2025 and less than 5.5 million by 2030.
Past forecasts were all too rosy, even before COVID, as the Public Policy Institute of California lays out.
California’s enrollment projections were too rosy before COVID. And now, “Over the next decade, declines are projected to accelerate, with statewide enrollment expected to fall 9% by 2030–31.”
— Chad Aldeman (@ChadAldeman) December 13, 2021
The “most irresistible force” behind cratering enrollments is, quite simply, the lack of children. According to the Examiner, California’s total fertility rate was 2.21 babies per woman in 2007, but that rate cratered to 1.66 by 2019.
“The United States has fewer children today than it did a decade ago — not merely proportionately: The under-18 population actually decreased by 1.1 million, from 74.2 million to 73.1 million,” the outlet reported.
“Of course, many private schools are seeing record numbers of applications after the public schools in Democrat-run states and municipalities showed disregard (or even disdain) for children by locking them out of their buildings, quarantining them because one child coughed, and forcing even 4-year-olds to wear masks. Homeschooling is seeing record popularity,” the news site added.
At a recent event, billionaire mogul and Tesla visionary Elon Musk made the observation, plain and simple, that Americans are just not having enough kids to sustain the country.
“There are not enough people,” Musk told a Wall Street Journal event Monday. “I can’t emphasize this enough, there are not enough people.”
He went on to say that in his view, “one of the biggest risks to civilization” is a lack of a sustainable birth rate.
CNBC notes further:
Musk added that too many “good, smart people” think there are too many people in the world and that the population is growing out of control.
“It’s completely the opposite,” Musk said, urging people to look at the data. “If people don’t have more children, civilization is going to crumble. Mark my words.”
The math on this one is pretty simple: If humanity stops reproducing, then soon there won’t be any … humanity.