The average Chasidic family, according to Wikipedia, has 8 children. That’s a growth rate nearly four times higher than the average American family!
Based on these growth trends I expect that Chasidim will grow to startling proportions in the next fifty years. I’m not sure if family sizes are getting smaller, because when I was a child many of us were from families of 12, and that number seems to have gone down somewhat, but even if there’s some family planning, families are still VERY large. Chasidic women age 30 often already have 6 children or more — that’s before their biological clock even ticks at ripe. If these trends continue, we can figure that the average family of 8 will have multiplied by eight in a mere thirty years.
The economic implications of a continued growth explosion like that are only to be seen. With a need for housing within close proximity of parents and shuls, and the subsequent rising real estate value, homes in Chasidic neighborhoods are bound to become more and more expensive. That’s only the beginning of Chasidic economic burden; there are many mouths to feed and twice the feet to clothe, many diapers and then weddings to fund. With little economic preparation in terms of college and vocational training, how will this growth spurt be sustainable?
And if the breadwinners won’t have enough on their heads, they’ll have handsome shtreimels that’ll brush against the moon, that’s how speedily the shtreimel is multiplying in height. I still remember the times a shtreimel closely resembled a frisbee. Long, long, LONG ago.