On Tuesday, billionaire and Tesla CEO Elon Musk raised the alarm about America’s plummeting birthrate, saying that “celebrating having kids” is one of the remedies to the imminent demographic collapse. Musk, who is the father of eight children, has previously warned of an oncoming population decline, but his most recent statements focused specifically on the United States. Musk said on Twitter that the country’s birthrate has been “below minimum sustainable levels” for at least a half-century.
“For the last 50 years, the United States birth rate has been below minimum sustainable levels,” Musk said, citing a graph from the Wall Street Journal showing that the United States’ overall fertility rate in 2021 remained below the “replacement” threshold of 2.1. “The birth rate in the United States was greatest among households with less than $10,000 in annual income, with 66.44 births per 1,000 women,” according to Statista in 2017. Families earning more than 200,000 United States dollars annually had the lowest birth rate, with 43.92 births per 1,000 women, and the birth rate drops as one moves up the economic spectrum.
Musk pointed out that the great majority of rich individuals do not have children, citing himself as an example. “Contrary to popular belief, the wealthier someone is, the fewer children they have,” Musk added. “I am an exceptional case. The majority of folks I know have 0 or 1 child.” During the course of his tweeting session, Musk responded to Republican congressional candidate Robby Starbuck, who had told him that “America needs a cultural change that promotes the nuclear family and having kids.” Starbuck had tweeted to Musk that “America needs a culture shift that celebrates the nuclear family and having kids.”
“All we have to do now is celebrate having kids,” Musk stated, only days after criticizing the premise that having more children leads to climate change. “The greatest danger to civilization is population collapse,” Musk tweeted later in the day. “The fastest population declines occur in South Korea and Hong Kong. Note that the replacement rate is 2.1 children per woman.”
During the All-In Summit that took place the previous Friday, Musk said that “some people believe that having fewer kids is better for the environment.” “It’s complete rubbish.” “Even if we quadrupled the population, the ecosystem would be OK.” And I’m aware of environmental issues. “We can’t simply let civilization go away,” he said.
Musk said that the concept that it is immoral to bring children into the world in the twenty-first century is absurd, pointing out that things were far worse in the past. “I’ve heard it before. ‘How am I supposed to bring a kid into this horrible world?’ “‘Have you read history?” he inquired. “Because, believe me, it was a lot worse back then.” Musk’s comments went viral on social media.