American Birth Rates Are Declining, So How Are There This Many Kids in Target?

American fertility rates have plummeted to an all-time low, due to a combination of factors. On average, Americans are getting married later in life, a timeline that allows for fewer children per household. Some couples are choosing to remain childless altogether, citing economic constraints, or the questionable moral ethics of bringing progeny into an increasingly uninhabitable world ravaged by climate change. Despite these macro trends, however, all the children who have been created in the past decade seem to be currently located inside this Target. 

As a single 20-something, you haven’t interacted with children in a very long time, so it can be easy to forget about that demographic altogether. On top of that, all you hear about children is their plummeting rate of, well, existing. But judging by the enormous crowd of screeching creatures running underfoot while you shop, you’d think everything you’ve heard is a lie.

What began as a midweek trip to grab some toothpaste and clear your head, has quickly become an exercise in playing defense against small youngsters who are unaccustomed to the concept of personal boundaries. Though children in the US are being conceived at a frighteningly low rate, these Target children are spawning like pod people right before your eyes. It’s a miracle, really.  

Some economists project that our declining birth rate may have dire repercussions for the labor force a few decades from now, but here in the Target toy aisle, it seems there are enough children to run an entire country without a hitch. We as a nation can rest easy knowing our future is in good hands—grubby hands, but good ones nonetheless.

As you round the corner, you discover that the incorrigible swarm of children is also running rampant in paper goods, electronics, and even the seasonal décor section with potted fake succulents. 

When asked where his parents were, one kid running amok replied, “Bet you’d like to know, perv.” Then he kicked off and rode a shopping cart out of sight. Behold, this child is our saving grace from the baby bust. Our future is bright.

Mary Gulino
Author: Mary Gulino
Mary is an LA-based writer from New Jersey whose work can be seen online and on TV (unless you count streaming platforms as online, in which case, it's all online). She got glasses when she was two, and would love to talk optometry sometime.