Archive for ‘demographics’

May 9, 2009

Massachusetts: The Gay State

Associated Press celebrates the five-year anniversary of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts:

According to the latest state figures, [from May 2004] through September 2008, there had been 12,167 same-sex marriages in Massachusetts — 64 percent of them between women — out of 170,209 marriages in all

.No figures are cited on gay divorce, of course. If you read the 2,700-word story, you will see that AP reporter David Crary tells a sunshine-on-a-cloudless-day tale, elaborated with picturesque anecdotes about wonderful couples.

Crary won second place in the 2006 National Lesbian & Gay Journalist Association competition. This year, he’s going for No. 1, baby!

I would very much like to be able to compare state-by-state marriage data to demonstrate that Massachusetts has one of the lowest marriage rates, and one of the lowest birth rates, in the United States. Unfortunately, as the NCHS bluntly admits, the federal government stopped providing even a semblance of comprensive data on marriage and divorce more than a decade ago.

However, birth data continue to be collected, so let’s look at the 2003 total fertility rate for Massachusetts, as well as four other states — Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and Maine — that have legalized same-sex marriage, as well as New Hampshire, where legislation is currently awaiting the governor’s signature.

Massachusetts……1.74
Connecticut……….1.92
Iowa…………………1.99
Vermont……………1.68
Maine……………….1.75
New Hampshire…1.77

You see that in none of these states is the total fertility rate at or above the 2.1 average lifetime births per woman necessary to prevent demographic decline. Now, let’s look at the states with the highest fertility rates:

Utah………………2.57
Arizona…………..2.39
Alaska…………….2.37
Texas…………….2.35
Idaho…………….2.32

The fertility rate in Utah is 53% higher than the rate in Vermont, and the rate in Idaho is 33% higher than the rate in Massachusetts.

My point is that the popularity of same-sex marriage is strongly associated with low fertility rates. If adequate state-by-state data were available, I’m sure you’d see a similar association with low marriage rates.

Don’t mistake the direction of causality, however: The decline of the traditional family caused the rise of same-sex marriage, and not vice-versa. It was America’s embrace of the Contraceptive Culture — detroying the natural connection between love, sex, marriage and parenthood — that has made possible the radical triumph.

Gays did not do this. It was the God-haters, with the help of self-righteous fools who claimed to be religious even while they disobeyed one of God’s original commandments: “Be fruitful and multiply.” They thought they could embrace the Planned Parenthood lifestyle without consequence.

“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools . . .”
Romans 1:22 KJV

Mother’s Day, the Planned Parenthood way! Declining birth rates mean an aging population. One of these days, we’ll all be as gay — and gray — as Massachusetts, and they’ll call that “progress.”

UPDATE: Pundette says, “Move over, Mark Steyn.” No, no, Pundette. It’s more like, “Please link me, Mark Steyn!” BTW, Pundette is a mother of seven, and has an excellent Mother’s Day linkfest round-up.

UPDATE II: Linked at Creative Minority Report and by Dad 29, who notes that my pro-natalist traditionalism is unusual for a Protestant. I get this all the time, as does Mark Steyn, who is Jewish and, indeed, one will find that nearly all Muslims share a similar attitude. (Dinesh D’Souza caught holy hell a couple years ago for a book in which he suggested that the Muslim world’s anti-American rage is a reaction to the decadence of Western pop culture.)

The feminist-infested progressive Left would doubtless characterize this ecumenical pro-natalism as a function of the patriarchal phallocratic desire to oppress The Sisterhood. Rather, I think what accounts for the similarity of perspective is a skepticism toward the truth-claims of modernism. Confronted by the arrogant assertions of the elite consensus, from which dissent is forbidden, we skeptics detect the unmistakable aroma of bovine excrement.

The disciples of Progress look at tradition — including the traditional belief that a large family is a blessing — and see everything they despise as obsolete and unjust. The traditionalist agrees with G.K. Chesterton:

My attitude toward progress has passed from antagonism to boredom. I have long ceased to argue with people who prefer Thursday to Wednesday because it is Thursday.

Once an intelligent person begins to question Progress in this way, once he starts wondering whether everything old is bad and everything new is better, he will soon discover evidence that contradicts the modernist truth-claims. At that point, he is likely to become a full-blown reactionary and, unless counseled by men of reason whom he respects, will soon be arguing for the divine right of kings or some other embarrassing anachronism. (The informed reader will smile in recognition of the hint of autobiography here.)

Extremism of one form or another — and Osama bin Laden will suffice as an example — is too often the result of the traditionalist’s resentment of modernist arrogance. Being a Bible-thumping hillbilly myself, I have sometimes thought the Islamic radicals have the better of the argument with their “moderate” antagonists within the Muslim world. If the Koran is true, if Muhammad was a divine Prophet who spoke on behalf of the Almighty, then jihad against the infidels is the True Faith.

But please note the hypothetical; I certainly do not accept that Mohammed was an agent of divinity, except in the sense that the Babylonian conquest was an act of God. The Israelites were God’s chosen people, but disobeyed him, and the Babylonian armies were thus the temporal means of chastisement. In the same way, one might say that the errors and unfaithfulness of the 6th-century church inspired Muhammad’s ignorant anti-Christian theology, which from its beginnings in a rebellion of Arab tribesmen, advanced thence by conquest until at last Christendom rallied.

Students of history will find that the Christian world did not defeat the Ottoman Empire (in the 1683 Battle of Vienna) until after Martin Luther had struck the spark of Christian reform. Make of this what you will. The relevant point here, however, is that any crisis or tribulation suffered by Christendom must be seen as the chastisement of human failing, a call to greater faith and greater obedience to God’s commandments.

God will not abandon us, if we are faithful and obedient, but if He desires to call us to repentance, He will work through means at hand, and we must pay attention to understand wherein we have failed.

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May 4, 2009

The Demographics of Dhimmitude

DEMOGRAPHIC CRASH

April 23, 2009

‘Forbidding to marry’

Laura from Pursuing Holiness wrote a post at the Hot Air Green Room that inspired me to respond at great length:

Christians believe that marriage is an institution ordained by God, and every marriage is thus blessed. However, in ordaining marriage, God commanded man to “be fruitful and multiply.” This commandment has never been repealed or amended, no matter what any Malthusian population-control fanatic tries to tell you. One trend that has undermined marriage has been the rise of the Contraceptive Culture, which celebrates sterility as the norm and views fertility as a pathology requiring medical prevention.
How many Christians have embraced this false — dare I say, evil — worldview? How many young Christian married couples use contraception because “we can’t afford children now”? And how many married Christian couples have unwittingly subscribed to the Zero Population Growth ideal of exactly two children per couple? Did you know that surgical sterilization (tubal ligation) is the No. 1 form of birth control for American women? It’s the “two and tie ’em” mentality: Have exactly two children, then get yourself surgically sterilized. . . .

You should read the whole thing.

UPDATE: In the comments at the Green Room, Anna writes:

My husband and I were married at 21. . . .
What galls me is the anti-child atmosphere nowadays. We have 3 kids (including a set of twins), and we’d love to have another. We aren’t really in a position to have another right this minute, but the door is not shut. However, mention this to my (devout Lutheran) in-laws, and they rant about how they’ll kill my husband if I get pregnant, and how they don’t ‘need’ any more grandchildren. We even hear from other members of their church about how we’re too young to have so many kids – how are we going to pay for college/cars/etc for not only them, but for ourselves. We’re 26/27! How is that too young? There are only so many times that I can retort with “We’re old enough/it’s our family/you can take out loans for college, but not for retirement!” before I have to run to the bathroom to cry.

Anna, once you understand that their criticisms of you are actually a defense of their own decisions, this anti-baby attitude becomes more comprehensible. People can always justify their own behavior, and people who embrace the Contraceptive Culture typically display these attitudes. Negative conceptions of others — the “trailer trash” stereotype of large families — are a defense mechanism to enhance their own self-concept.

Believing that their way is the only way, they must necessarily believe that, by marrying young and having lots of babies, you are dooming yourself (and your children) to misery and poverty. The “how will you pay for college” question is meant to be the ultimate “gotcha.” My daughter’s working her way through college. Next question?

UPDATE II: More wisdom in the comments (here) from father-of-five Larry:

I cannot count the number of times we have been unintentionally insulted by well meaning, self-identified Christians, asking if we know what causes that (pregnancy) . . .

To which I always answer, “Yes, and we’re very good at it.” That shuts ’em up quick.

February 11, 2009

The taxpayer shortage

(BUMPED; UPDATES BELOW) For years, pro-life activists have warned that abortion and the contraceptive culture were leading us toward a demographic crisis. At least a decade ago, Jim Sedlak of the American Life League was warning: “In order to turn things around . . . young people getting married have to be thinking of having four or more children.”

Well, the crisis is now upon us. Today, Conservative Grapevine linked my reaction to Obama’s Monday press conference:

Suppose a pipe-dream hypothetical: Somehow, this “stimulus” actually produces a sort of dead-cat bounce in the economy, so that unemployment is down around 5% again by 2012. Is that good? No, not really, because government will have produced that bounce by borrowing massively against the future in a society that’s about to sustain a serious demographic shock.
The first Baby Boomers turn 65 in 2011, and every year after that will see more and more retirees going onto the Social Security and Medicare rolls. Even if we raise the retirement age, there is still the net drain of productive labor. The average 67-year-old can’t produce goods and services as efficiently as the average 38-year-old and (due to certain legal decisions circa 1973) after 2011, we’ll have a growing shortage of 38-year-olds and a growing surplus of 67-year-olds.
We are on the verge of a taxpayer shortage, you see, and what the Democrats want to do is take out a massive loan that will have to be repaid by a shrinking pool of taxpayers, who will be expected to support a burgeoning population of increasingly sickly Baby Boomer retirees.

Yet, even as America reaps the disastrous economic consequences of the Culture of Death, the misanthropic Malthusians continue to scream about “overpopulation.” As I’ve said elsewhere, some people at least have the excuse of ignorance. Others are merely evil.

UPDATE: A 12-year-old pro-lifer speaks:

“I was stunned by how good this video is,” says Cassie Fiano. (Via Melissa Clouthier, who isn’t sure that 12-year-olds should be voicing their opinions on political issues.)

Meanwhile, Michelle Malkin reports that House Democrats have reached a backroom deal on the “stimulus,” excluding Republicans from the conference negotiations. Which is good news, because now they’ve given Republican Senators a valid excuse to filibuster the conference report. This “stimulus” abomination might blow up yet!

UPDATE II: Thanks to the commenter who informs me that YouTube commenters are saying vile things about the girl who made this video. You stay classy, “progressive netroots”!

UPDATE III: Welcome Ace of Spades readers.

UPDATE IV: Allahpundit:

[Y]oung talent in the service of a righteous cause deserves some extra publicity. Worth watching for the sheer precocity of the performance, which suggests she’s destined someday for Hollywood.

Destiny? Kind of a religious concept, eh?

UPDATE V: “She’s more articulate than most people I know, and even our teleprompter president.” Heh.

“[I]f this girl is this good at 12, just imagine what she’ll be like in high school and college. Politics is clearly in her future.” Heh — and once again, happy birthday, Sarah Palin!

UPDATE VI: Linked at JillStanek.com.

February 11, 2009

Imported poverty

Immigration has consequences:

Utah’s Latina teens have an alarmingly high birth rate: They are nearly four times more likely than other 15- to 17-year-olds to have a baby.
The Utah Department of Health is releasing the report on Latino health disparities today as part of a series exploring the challenges facing Utah minorities.
It shows that while nearly 18 of every 1,000 girls ages 15 to 17 in the general Utah population had a baby in 2006-07, 66 of 1,000 Latinas had one.
The implications go beyond those teens’ immediate futures. National data show Latina teen moms are more likely to drop out of high school than other teen mothers, and teen mothers are more likely to be on welfare. Children of teen mothers are more likely to live in poverty and have educational and social problems and are more likely to become teen parents themselves.

I’ve written about this seldom-acknowledged consequence of our immigration problem, but our political system can’t address it, because any politician who opens his mouth about the demographics of teen pregnancy is immediately targeted as a racist xenophobic nativist bigot.

“Teen pregnancy,” per se, is not the problem. As Maggie Gallagher has pointed out, the real problem is unwed pregnancy. Yet as a society, we spend millions to discourage “teen pregnancy,” even while celebrating single motherhood (a subject that Ann Coulter addresses in her new book).

There is a cultural factor involved that nobody wants to talk about, even when you have 14-year-old brides being bartered for beer in California. And the fact that this story about Latina teen pregnancy rates is coming out of Utah highlights the unaddressed double standard. On the one hand, when the polygamous FLDS cult relocated to Texas, the Texas legislature actually raised their state’s age of consent from 14 to 16, in order to outlaw the cult’s known practice of marrying off young teenage girls. And yet Texas led the nation in teen pregnancy in 2004 — and it wasn’t because of fundamentalist Mormons, OK? Like I said, if Texas is going to stage a paramilitary raid every time a 15-year-old gets pregnant, they’re going to need to hire a lot more SWAT officers.

Given the seriousness of our nation’s demographic crisis, one could argue — and I actually have argued — that we probably need more teen pregnancy, and if it weren’t for Hispanic immigrants, the U.S. birth rate would still be below replacement level. Yet while liberals demand that we spend millions of taxpayer dollars on teen-pregnancy prevention, they simultaneously demand that we have open borders, so as to import more teen pregnacy. And if anybody tries to talk about this in a realistic way, they’re denounced by liberals as “hatemongers.”

Given these contradictory messages from liberals — unlimited immigration, good; teen pregnancy, bad; honest policy discussion, hate — one must question either their sanity, their intelligence or their bona fides.

January 27, 2009

Childless cities

In writing a post on the demographics of Portland, Ore., Steve Sailer linked to this 2005 article about (relatively) childless cities:

Portland is one of the nation’s top draws for the kind of educated, self-starting urbanites that midsize cities are competing to attract. But as these cities are remodeled to match the tastes of people living well in neighborhoods that were nearly abandoned a generation ago, they are struggling to hold on to enough children to keep schools running and parks alive with young voices.
San Francisco, where the median house price is now about $700,000, had the lowest percentage of people under 18 of any large city in the nation, 14.5 percent, compared with 25.7 percent nationwide, the 2000 census reported. Seattle, where there are more dogs than children, was a close second. Boston, Honolulu, Portland, Miami, Denver, Minneapolis, Austin and Atlanta, all considered, healthy, vibrant urban areas, were not far behind. The problem is not just that American women are having fewer children, reflected in the lowest birth rate ever recorded in the country.
Officials say that the very things that attract people who revitalize a city – dense vertical housing, fashionable restaurants and shops and mass transit that makes a car unnecessary – are driving out children by making the neighborhoods too expensive for young families. . . .

Worth reading the whole thing.

December 20, 2008

Obama’s population bomber

Yuval Levin points out that Barack Obama’s science advisor John Holdren included in a 2007 speech a respectful reference to Paul Ehrlich’s utterly discredited 1968 book The Population Bomb. He might as well have referenced phrenology or necromancy.

The Population Bomb — named one of the worst books of the 20th century by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute — began with one of the most infamously mistaken prophecies ever published:

The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970’s the world will undergo famines — hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.

Wrong. The mass famines never happened. World population, which was about 3.5 billion when Erhlich wrote that, is now about 6 billion, and humanity has never been more well-fed than it is today. Far from a population “explosion,” what the world now faces — especially in industrialized nations — is a population implosion. In Europe, birth rates in recent decades have been disastrously below what demographers call the replacement rate (2.1 average lifetime births per woman) needed to maintain a stable population size.

Yet many people (Ted Turner notoriously among them), continue to pretend that Ehrlich’s misguided warning that “mankind will breed itself into oblivion” was accurate, and to push programs based on Ehrlich’s 1968 ultimatum:

We can no longer afford merely to treat the symptoms of the cancer of population growth; the cancer itself must be cut out. Population control is the only answer.

To speak of population growth — i.e., people having babies — as a “cancer” reflects an almost genocidal misanthropy. That Obama would choose as his science adviser Holdren, a believer in such malevolent hokum, is a disgrace.

UPDATE: Via Memeorandum and Ross Douthat, I learn that I’m arriving a little late to this dance. John Tierney is all over the Holdren appointment, revealing that Obama’s advisor was one of the “experts” consulted by Ehrlich in his ill-advised bet with the late Julian Simon. Reason magazine’s Ron Bailey has even more on the consistently wrong Dr. Holdren.

One global-warming fanatic recognizes Holdren as a kindred spirit: “Obama is dead serious about the strongest possible action on global warming.”

I hate to pick a fight with the Obama administration over science. After all, I’m hoping to get federal funding for my own research.

UPDATE II: Obama makes it official. And in his radio address, he declares:

“Today, more than ever before, science holds the key to our survival as a planet and our security and prosperity as a nation. . . . It’s time we once again put science at the top of our agenda and worked to restore America’s place as the world leader in science and technology.”

This eye-rolling is giving me a headache.

Here’s video of Obama’s speech:

December 3, 2008

Chambliss and the growth factor

In analyzing Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ impressive victory in Georgia — he defeated Democrat Jim Martin by more than 300,000 votes in Tuesday’s runoff — it is important to understand where that Republican margin comes from. While liberals will try to explain Martin’s defeat as a product of retrograde rural backlash, the decisive factor for Chambliss was his large margins in the prosperous, fast-growing suburban and exurban counties around Atlanta.

As usual for Republicans in Georgia, Chambliss piled up huge margins in the mega-suburban counties of Cobb and Gwinnett, beating Martin by nearly 50,000 votes in each. But Chambliss also piled up a combined margin of nearly 150,000 votes in nine “outer ring” exurban counties. Here are those counties, showing Chambliss’ margin and each county’s population growth rate (April 2000-July 2006) according to the Census Bureau:

County… Margin…Growth
Barrow……7,184……38.1%
Bartow.….10,948…..20.1%
Carroll…….6,642……23.0%
Cherokee…33,274……37.6%
Coweta……15,002……29.2%
Forsyth……30,624…..53.4%
Hall………..20,625…..24.4%
Paulding ….12,795…..48.9%
Walton…….12,681….30.8%

Please note that the margins are based on results available at 8 a.m., when 97% of precincts statewide were reporting, and the vote is not complete in all counties.

(Cross-posted at AmSpecBlog.)

August 19, 2008

1 in 5 women childless

New York Times:

Twenty percent of women ages 40 to 44 have no children, double the level of 30 years ago, the report said; and women in that age bracket who do have children have fewer than ever — an average of 1.9 children, compared with the median of 3.1 children in 1976. . . .
Suzanne Bianchi, chairwoman of the sociology department at the University of Maryland [said:] “The interesting question is, has it stopped? Is this it, or
will we see even higher rates of childlessness among future generations?”

(Via Hot Air Headlines. Full report is here.) Well, obviously, Dr. Bianchi, the trend will continue, and demographers estimate that by the time today’s 18-year-olds reach their mid-40s, 1-in-4 will be childless. The cause of the trend is not mysterious: Fertility delayed is fertility denied.

Let me quote a 1997 study:

Median age at first birth increased from 21.3 to 24.4 between 1969 and 1994, and the proportion of first-time mothers who were age 30 or older increased from 4.1% to 21.2%.

What demographers refer to as prime childbearing age is 18-to-24. Fertility begins to decline by age 25, and by age 35, the likelihood of pregnancy is only a fraction of what it was at 18. By the mid-1990s, more than 20% of U.S. women were waiting until their 30s to try to have children.

The 1997 study found that 21.2% of first-time mothers were over 30 — but it doesn’t tell us what percentage of women tried to have children after age 30 and found they couldn’t.

In reporting the Census Bureau data, the New York Times pretends as if the increase in childlessness were entirely voluntary. It’s not. Advanced age is highly implicated in infertility, as are sexually transmitted infections (including chlamydia) that cause scarring of the fallopian tubes. The Clare Booth Luce Policy Institute has recently published Sense & Sexuality, a pamphlet by Dr. Miram Grossman that addresses some of the related health issues.

August 16, 2008

Fun with demographics

Here are some interesting Gallup numbers:

  • John McCain leads by double-digit margins among all educational subgroups of white voters except those with postgraduate degrees, where Barack Obama has a double-digit lead.
  • Black voters support Obama by a whopping 90% to 3%.
  • In age subgroups, McCain’s strongest support (47%) is among those 65 or older, while Obama’s strongest support (59%) is among those under 30.
  • White guys love them some Maverick — McCain gets a 22-point margin among white males.
  • Single chicks love them some Hope — Obama gets a 29-point margin among unmarried females.
  • Racist Democrats? McCain gets 14% of the votes of white Democrats.
  • Whistling Dixie? Obama leads by double digits in every region except the South, where McCain leads by 10 points.
  • Ruh-roh: Obama has a 6-point lead in battleground states.

And as of 6:52 p.m. ET, they still haven’t posted the Gallup daily numbers.