November 23, 2011

Illegitimacy rate fell in 2010

The federal government's National Vital Statistics Report on Births: Preliminary Data for 2010 shows the first decline in the percentage of children born illegitimately in many years. In 2010, 40.8 % of all births in America were to unmarried mothers, down marginally from 41.0% in 2009. 

This is in part due to the sharp fall in total births to Hispanics. The Latino illegitimacy rate still grew from 53.2% to 53.3%, but the Hispanic share of total births declined from 24.2% to 23.6%. The non-Hispanic white illegitimacy rate was stable at 29.0%, while the black rate fell from 72.8% to 72.5% and the Asian rate from 17.2% to 17.0%.

The most penetrating insight into how different classes responded to the impact of the Housing Bubble comes from the opening scene of 2006's Idiocracy, where the married yuppie couple with 138 and 141 IQs explain that they couldn't have a child now, "not with the market the way it is." In contrast, Keynes's animal spirits are running strong in Clevon's trailer park. 

High home prices tended to discourage the prudent from marrying and reproducing, while the the availability of subprime mortgages with short term teaser monthly payments, and the accompany construction boom, encouraged the imprudent to reproduce (if not marry). Further, Bush's artificial boom sucked in large numbers of fertility-minded but not marriage-minded people from south of the border. And as recent research shows, nobody has children faster than newly arrived illegal immigrants. 

The economic downturn has discouraged fertility in general, but most severely among the imprudent. 

56 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Further, Bush's artificial boom sucked in large numbers of fertility-minded but not marriage-minded people from south of the border. And as recent research shows, nobody has children faster than newly arrived illegal immigrants."

And no one supplies welfare to them faster than California.

Henry Canaday said...

Maybe we should have a new guideline for Federal housing policy. The government should seek to keep the home-ownership rate at least 10 percentage points below the legitimate-birth rate, nationally and for each demographic sub-group.

If the government is going to muck about with mortgages by pretending it knows what the home-ownership rate should be, doesn't it need a 'Taylor Rule' linking home ownership to the major indicator of responsible adult behavior?

AllanF said...

Is there any broad, social statistic that doesn't follow a Black > Hispanic > White > Asian break-down?

Church-going perhaps??

Seems that would be a real challenge, find some non-trivial measure that bucks the trend.

Marlowe said...

Imprudent doesn't seem the right word to use: when the money stopped, so did the baby parade. An imprudent man would keep going regardless. Similarly, I don't think one can attribute the reluctance of career minded feminist graduate professional women to become mothers simply to a lack of funds & prudential avoidance of bringing about too many mouths to feed. Professional couples can well afford a couple of bambinos though it may come at the price of moving out of a high priced city apartment and into a nest home in a less desirable suburb.

kurt9 said...

The economic downturn has discouraged fertility in general, but most severely among the imprudent.

Every cloud has its silver lining.

DW said...

It looks like we're in for a repeat of the 1930s with a 'baby bust'. The next generation will be like the kids that were born during the Great Depression and come of age after the war.

Anonymous said...

The most penetrating insight into how different classes responded to the impact of the Housing Bubble comes from the opening scene of 2006's Idiocracy, where the married yuppie couple with 138 and 141 IQs explain that they couldn't have a child now, "not with the market the way it is."



More evidence, if any were needed, that IQ people are often not especially intelligent.

Dutch Boy said...

Our bad economic times would have seemed the height of prosperity not long ago and people still had children, i.e., this is primarily a moral/psychological phenomenon rather than an economic one.

edgy gurl said...

And are these fertility-minded illegals so excited about their substandard wages, they truly believe that the money they can earn and nothing but the money they can earn in the great EEUU will provide all they and their offspring could want?

jody said...

it's still mind boggling that almost half of all kids are single mom kids.

half!

whiskey is a goof but he's clearly on to something when he talks about the state providing most of the things now which the weaker, wimpier, less intelligent men used to offer a woman.

in 2011, why marry, when the state can provide you with so much free money and stuff for you and your kids?

Anonymous said...

As Sir Isaac Newton might have put it "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction".
Perhaps we can see it as a natural correction, a positive check if you will, a 'natural' rebalance of the economy against the likes of George W. Bush and the WSJ who tried their damndest to turn the USA into a third world nation.

Reg Cæsar said...

One must always keep in mind that the illegitimacy rate is based on two factors: the actions of the unmarried, and the inaction of the married.

The latter is rarely mentioned. Too close to home.

Jefferson Davis Lee Billy Joe Bob said...

Has anyone done a cost-benefit analysis for being married or not?

It seems, below a certain income/education level, the welfare incentives promote bastardization and broken home society.

What is that income/education level and hasn't any freakanomic-type looked at the numbers?

Reg Cæsar said...

One must always keep in mind that the illegitimacy rate is the combination of two factors: the actions of the unmarried, and the inaction of the married.

The latter is rarely mentioned. Too close to home, I guess.

Anonymous said...

Huh?

The imprudent don't care about the market, but they care about the market?

Eh?

Anonymous said...

The economic downturn has discouraged fertility in general, but most severely among the imprudent.

So, we have Obama to thank?

For every 2% increase in unemployment, there is a 0.2% decrease in illegitimacy?

Puppy Saga pt 20 said...

"In 2010, 40.8 % of all births in America were to unmarried mothers, down marginally from 41.0% in 2009."

Wow, what a dramatic fall--not!

Vivaldi4 said...

When the census data for '10 was first released I did the math myself and came up with a 2.1 birth rate for White women not 1.80. I may be wrong, but I certainly don't trust the feds.

Anonymous said...

Your title s/b either:

The Illegitimacy rate fell in 2010

or

Illegitimacy fell in 2010

Otherwise, it sounds a little foreign.

David said...

According to Jorge Boosh, Karl Rove, and the entire current Republican lineup, Hispanics are "Family Values voters." Idiocy.

>The economic downturn has discouraged fertility in general, but most severely among the imprudent.<

A whole host of bad actors are cramped by economic downturns. Scarcity seems to encourage prudence.

Wes said...

Wouldn't it be more apt to call it the Clinton/Bush artificial boom?

Anonymous said...

Birth rates plummet - minorities hardest hit.

Gilbert Pinfold.

rightsaidfred said...

Latino illegitimacy rate -- 53.3%
non-Hispanic white rate -- 29.0%
black rate -- 72.5%
Asian rate -- 17.0%


Looks like interesting data that lines up with what we see in IQ, conscientiousness, future time orientation, and socio-economic achievement.

Anonymous said...

Out of curiosity, is there any way to figure out what the percentage of kids without a father in the home is? The illegitimacy rate is, of course, the rate kids are born to unwed mothers. While I'd guess a small fraction of those unwed parents do get married, it would be dwarfed by the number of parents who divorce while their children are below 18. Since divorce has negative consequences on kids too, I'm just wondering what the percentage of all kids in fatherless households is.

NOTA said...

rightsaidfred:

This kind of statistic is also the strongest argument against HBD as an explanation for various kinds of social pathology among blacks.

Illegitimacy rate is largely a product of social and cultural and legal forces. (No child support or welfare for illegitimate kids means a much lower bastardy rate; even in the presence of welfare and child support, a serious stigma attached to unmarried motherhood will push that rate down. We now have a much higher rate of illegitimacy than we did when birth control was hard to get and less effective and convenient, and when abortions were illegal.)

My guess is that you can trace way more underclass black social pathology to illegitimacy and lack of fathers than to low average IQ. 70%?

NOTA said...

Reg Caesar:

It sure seems like easier advice to follow to say "Use birth control to avoid having kids until you're ready to get married and raise them together" than to say "Have more kids niow that you're married.". But Mormons and, to a lesser extent, Catholics also get social pressure and support to have large families. In the far suburbs of DC where I live, our family of five is a big family, but at our (Catholic) church, we're not at all unusual.

The hard problem is how we can discourage illegitimate birth without shorting the kids who had nothing to do with the decision to be a baby mama to your small-time-drug-dealer boyfriend.

Anonymous said...

Rezko

Anonymous said...

Let's see your New York Times subscription receipts Steve.

If you don't pay then you're as ghetto as blacks.

Kylie said...

"whiskey is a goof but he's clearly on to something when he talks about the state providing most of the things now which the weaker, wimpier, less intelligent men used to offer a woman."

Whiskey is goofy, yes, but I'm a married woman, not a single guy unable to get laid, and I see much of the same stuff among my single female acquaintances that he talks about.

"in 2011, why marry, when the state can provide you with so much free money and stuff for you and your kids?"

Yes, the state pays the bills and asks less of you than a mate would. In fact, it basically asks only that you don't fuck up your kids or your circumstances so noticeably and so often that it has to step in. No husband--or wife--would be as forbearing. For the single welfare mom, the state puts the emphasis not on personal responsibility but on personal choice.

And where the state does not provide, those nice white ladies do, with volunteer work, vouchers, etc.

This is why when I lived in a low-income neighborhood and lost my job, the women suggested I have a baby so I could go on welfare. They thought I was nuts when instead of taking their suggestion, I got myself another job.

rec1man said...

17% Asian illegitimacy rate is misleading
For south asians it is more like 1% or less

I do know for a fact, that getting
pre-maritally pregnant would result in forcible abortion for South Asians or even worse consequences such as honor-killing, or being deported back to India or Pakistan or a Shot-gun marriage with the baby daddy

Anonymous said...

@AllanF: Proportion of college graduates - the Black/Hispanic order is transposed. But much of that is because of first-generation Hispanics, for whom college attainment is incredibly rare.

edgy gurl said...

"Latino illegitimacy rate -- 53.3%"

Isn't this a recent spike in illegitimacy? I know it would be important because of the size of the population in question. This doesn't necessarily mean that the rate will remain stable at a 50+% high.

Catperson said...

Is there any broad, social statistic that doesn't follow a Black > Hispanic > White > Asian break-down?

Life span:

http://healthland.time.com/2010/10/13/the-hispanic-mortality-paradox-why-do-latinos-outlive-other%C2%A0americans/

When it comes to longevity, Hispanics are very typical of the highly evolved mongoloid race they are partly descended from. However when it comes to IQ they are not so evolved. Even though the mongoloid race is the most evolved overall, mongoloids from the Americas appear the least evolved of the mongoloid race.

By contrast whites appear to be the most evolved of the Caucasoid race. So it's really not fair to compare whites to Hispanics/amerindians who are arguabley the missing link between caucasoids and mongoloids because you are comparing the most evolved caucasoids to the least evolved mongoloids. It would be more fair to compare the least evolved mongoloids to the least evolved caucasoids (non-white caucasoids such as middle easterners and
south Asians and perhaps even australoids though these are genetically distant) to the least evolved negroids (capoids and pygmies).



Or you could compare the most evolved mongoloids (east Asians) to the most evolved caucasoids (whites) to the most evolved negroids (east Africans who are arguably the missing link as humans evolved from negroids to caucasoids and thus have semi-Caucasoid looking skulls even before Arab admixture).

Either way, Mongoloids are more advanced than caucasoids who are more advanced than negroids. This ancient tri-level global genetic natural caste system explains so much of human history.

rec1man said...

Has anyone split up the Asian illegitimacy rate into East Asian vs South Asian

My guess is that South Asian illegitimacy rate is close to 0%

Due to forced abortion, honor killing, etc

Anonymous said...

"The latter is rarely mentioned. Too close to home, I guess."

Married people are actually starting to ostracise those in their social network that get divorced, so they are starting to do something.

corvinus said...

And no one supplies welfare to them faster than California.

The birth rate crashed much more in California than in Texas, although Texas has been playing catch-up recently.

Our bad economic times would have seemed the height of prosperity not long ago and people still had children, i.e., this is primarily a moral/psychological phenomenon rather than an economic one.

The fertility for whites fell, but only from 1.91 to 1.80. Perhaps whites are better with money and can stand on their own two feet more than Hispanics and blacks who are used to government handouts.

in 2011, why marry, when the state can provide you with so much free money and stuff for you and your kids?

That statement would be more true for 2007. Since then, with the state going broke in the U.S. and Europe, it would appear women will have to rely on themselves and men more.

Also, I should point out that the illegitimacy rate masks further differences between the races. White women who have illegitimate kids are more likely to have a long-term boyfriend whom the kid(s) can call "Dad"; i.e., they follow the Scandinavian model. Black women tend to have illegitimate children who don't know who their father is, and who are usually half-siblings.

Jacob Roberson said...

Erm cancel that last comment Steve? Didn't realize that was still on my computer. Thanks and happy Turkey Day.

Anonymous said...

jody said...whiskey is a goof but he's clearly on to something when he talks about . . . "

Why not just "whiskey is clearly on to something when he talks about . . . "?

Is this high school and you have to make sure the cool kids know you don't like the guy they think is a nerd?

George W. Bush said...

"The Latino illegitimacy rate still grew from 53.2% to 53.3%"

Just remember there, cowboy - famileh valews don't stop at the Reo Grandee, and them there's sum gewd famileh valews.

Anonymous said...

"Our bad economic times would have seemed the height of prosperity not long ago and people still had children, i.e., this is primarily a moral/psychological phenomenon rather than an economic one."

Uh, no. It's harder to have babies if you don't have a job and you're living in your mom's basement.

The employment population ratio dropped from 64% to 58%. That's 6% of the population that has a very strong incentive to not have babies.

During the recession, layoffs hit sky-high levels. Prudent people will put off having a child if they think they might lose their job.

There's a general trend of decreasing birth rates and a higher illegitimacy rate that is cultural, not primarily economic, but the change between 2007 and 2010 is economic.

Anonymous said...

Steve, illigitimacy is growing in all the western nations, including France.

LePen said
"We are rotted by this ideology of constantly excusing crime. The constant intervention by psychiatrists is the proof: they regard criminals as being sick. It's the psychiatrists who should be locked up (along with the ideologists of the culture of excuse). For five years we have watched recidivists repeat their crimes. Before 2007 and the arrival of Nicolas Sarkozy to power, we had never seen a recidivist repeat his crime."

I am not sure I fully understand what she is saying. Is she saying that there were literally no recidivists in the years before Sarko repeating their crimes? That defies belief. I mean even with the most punitive criminal justice system in the world you have recidivism.

How are we to interpret her absurd exaggeration?

Miriam said...

I'm confused - up to the last sentence, the post seemed to be saying that the wise and prudent have fewer children in troubled economic times.

Anonymous said...

Data held steady essentially. It's a bastard nation.

Anonymous said...

"it's still mind boggling that almost half of all kids are single mom kids."

Yep, and no Presidential candidate attacking the parents of these kids for making you and I pay for them. They fear talking about this kind redistribution, which is actually thievery. These parents are as much thieves as anyone who breaks into my house and takes something I own.

Pathetic "leaders."

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

Year-to-year changes can be pretty random, but if you want to see some real long-term changes, check out this CDC table comparing illegitimacy rates in 1980 to 2007.

Iceland 40 66
Sweden 40 55
Norway 15 54
France 11 50
Denmark 33 46
UK 12 44
USA 18 40
Holland 4 40
Ireland 5 33
Germany 12 30
Canada 13 30
Spain 4 28
Italy 4 21
Japan 1 2

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

"That statement would be more true for 2007. Since then, with the state going broke in the U.S. and Europe, it would appear women will have to rely on themselves and men more."

I thought that back in 2007-08, and assumed we'd be at that point by now - assumed that deficit spending would be so high that discretionary welfare spending would be cut to balance the budget. We aren't there yet, and I guess we'll continue to mortgage the future in order to pay for the irresponible of the present.

Whiskey said...

I don't know how much plainer I can be. Yes I may be a "goof" (read: a-hole and yes I know it, I AM an a-hole guilty as charged) but to me the issue is quite clear, IQ is not very attractive in men (it is of course quite attractive in women).

Yes those yuppies did not have kids in Idiocracy, but come on, the actor was CHOSEN for not being sexy. If you saw, maybe Brad Pitt instead of the guy who plays gays or villains (on "Grimm" last week) then you'd think the woman was nuts. Instead you think -- guy is not sexy.

Women can and do chose sexiness in the same economy, among Hispanics, having kids at age 16, vs. White women who mostly don't have but one kid at age 32 or so.

White women in this down economy -- not having kids at all, nearly. Hispanic women -- down some, but still having kids. This is of course a bet that welfare continues, on pain of various action to make it stick, and subsidizing other women's fertility by say, White women. They are happy to do so because they find few guys worthy of having kids fairly early. [This is also a bet that say, catastrophic welfare / government revenue collapse will not happen, and that the golden goose of welfare will not die. Numbers alone do not always win, ask the Aztecs.]

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

Whiskey, I haven't a clue where you live, but it must be somewhere the other side of the rabbit hole. Where I live I see plenty of white women marrying sub-alpha white men. IQ (in men!) is considered attractive. High IQ and high testosterone? Bonus! But married male dorks? They're thick on the ground in every state in which I've lived or visited, and, believe it or not, their children mostly aren't cuckoo's eggs.

The truth is that a man who is willing to commit, who is reasonably hygienic and has a decent job has little trouble finding a spouse.

The only people with trouble finding mates are either extremely irresponsible, extremely unattractive, or have unrealistic expectations. I'd wager that the number of men with unrealistic expectations for their mates is roughly equal to the number of women with same.

Anonymous said...

The truth is that a man who is willing to commit, who is reasonably hygienic and has a decent job has little trouble finding a spouse.

What do you mean by "reasonably hygienic"?

Anonymous said...

Cat person - Either way, Mongoloids are more advanced than caucasoids who are more advanced than negroids. This ancient tri-level global genetic natural caste system explains so much of human history.

Meaningless nonsense.

Anonymous said...

What Corvinus said.

There is another layer of PC think in all this...

By labelling a phenomonen 'illigitimacy' the intention is to blur the difference between black and white families.

Take a step back and you can see unmarried white couples with children who exhibit the attributes of married white couples with children, whereas as black illigitimacy is much more the province of single mothers.

Illigitimacy is used used as a smokescreen to obscure those differences, as if they wre all the same thing really.

Sword said...

NOTA said...
The hard problem is how we can discourage illegitimate birth without shorting the kids who had nothing to do with the decision to be a baby mama to your small-time-drug-dealer boyfriend.
---------

Take the cost early, and head-on.
1. For kids that are already living: Proceed as usual, do not change any handout/support/whathaveyou rules.
2. For unmarried women who have kids for which they currently get some support: Enact a law stating that if their next kid gets them over 3 kids, then all kids past that limit will not be eligble for any kind of support.
3. For all women under 40 years age: enact a law stating that any woman who wants a hysterectomy gets it, and she will be paid a non-taxable bounty of 50000 dollars. If she is childless and under 25 years of age, bounty is upped to 100000 bucks.
4. Quit making abortion difficult.

Now, to make that politically viable - that is another problem altogether.

David said...

>If the government is going to muck about with mortgages by pretending it knows what the home-ownership rate should be, doesn't it need a 'Taylor Rule' linking home ownership to the major indicator of responsible adult behavior?<

Right, but the point of such mucking about was to create Middle-Class behavior. Karl Rove's strategy was to turn everyone to a Republican by getting them into private homes. Homeownership, like ownership of the means of production, was (is) thought to be class-transformative, like getting a pair of Nike Airs transforms one into a superstar.

TGGP said...

I'm a nerd and I make fun of Whiskey (for his pathological aversion to data and beating of dead horses even after his arguments have been refuted). I work in software, my co-workers are nerds and if past their twenties generally married with children.

David Davenport said...

What do you mean by "reasonably hygienic"?

"reasonably hygienic" ... If you have to ask, you're probably on the margin.

tj said...

"In the far suburbs of DC where I live, our family of five is a big family, but at our (Catholic) church, we're not at all unusual."

what suburb of DC? Just curious.