But even I was shocked by the
new data for 2006 released last Wednesday, December
The bottom line: 2006 was a
demographic disaster. All the bad trends of this
decade suddenly got worse while the good trends turned
around and started moving in the wrong direction.
(This is "preliminary data," but it includes 99.9
percent of all births in 2006, with most of the 0.1
percent missing concentrated in Louisiana and South
The Main Stream Media [MSM]`s
take on this report: the
big news was that the
teen birthrate went up in 2006 after 15 years of
decline. That`s because being against
teen pregnancy is the only "value judgment"
about demographic trends that is
mentionable in polite society.
But there are a lot more alarming numbers buried in the
data. For example:
1] The Illegitimacy Tidal Wave of 2006.
From 2005 to 2006, the number of babies born to married
women went up 0.5%, but the number born to unmarried
women went up 7.6%. (The increase in teen births is only
a minor factor in the illegitimacy surge—most of the
growth in out-of-wedlock births was to women in their
The number of babies born to married white women went
down by 0.4 percent, while the
number of babies born to unmarried Hispanic women
increased by 9.6 percent.
Maybe, as President Bush has assured us,
"family values don`t stop at the Rio Grande".
But marriage sure seems to. An amazing
half (49.9 percent to be exact) of all
Hispanic women who gave birth in 2006 were unmarried.
"…Hispanics seem to have assimilated into the American
culture of secular individualism more than the reverse.
For example, the unwed birth percentage among Hispanics
has jumped from 19 percent in 1980 to 48 percent in 2005
and stands well above the percentage for the
non-Hispanic White population. Hispanics have the same
divorce rate as non-Hispanic Whites, and in recent years
their rate of non-marital cohabitation has
grown faster than that of any other immigrant group.
These trends contradict earlier expectations that
Hispanics might bring this nation a new wave of family
State of Our Unions |The Social Health of Marriage
The percentage of Hispanic babies born illegitimate
still trails the
black percentage. But the
birth rate for unmarried Hispanic women is now
substantially higher than for unmarried black women—and
higher than for unmarried white women.
The illegitimacy rate is not only increasing—it`s
accelerating, as you can see by comparing the change
from 2005 to 2006 (+1.6 percentage points for the whole
country) versus the change from 2004 to 2005 (+1.1
I don`t think anybody knows for sure what caused 2006`s
unexpected surge in illegitimacy.
But I`ll make a suggestion:
My theory of "affordable
family formation" suggests that the absurd
prices for homes reached in 2005-2006 would drive down
the marriage rate. And indeed it did drop, to
7.3 per 1000 people in 2006, down from 7.8 in 2004,
and way down from 9.8 in 1990.
The increasing unaffordability of buying a home likely
hits the classes differently. The better educated
put off having children and the less educated put off
getting married. (This is not a recipe for a
happy future for America.)
Americans now seem to see getting married as what you do
when you are ready to buy a home. A five-year long study
white, black, and Hispanic
single mothers in Philadelphia has put a
human face on the relationship between the
Mortgage Gap and the
Marriage Gap. Sociologists
Kathryn Edin and
Maria Kefalas, authors of Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage,
wrote an essay in the Washington Post
(May 1, 2005) entitled
Unmarried Because They Value Marriage:
"Marriage, we heard time and again, ought to be reserved
for those couples who`ve acquired the symbols of
mortgage on a modest rowhouse, a reliable car, a
savings account and enough money left over to host a
Marriage is increasingly concentrated among the
well-educated and well-to-do. Popenoe notes:
"One surprising development of recent years is the
growth of a marriage and divorce `gap` between
differently educated segments of the population. People
completed college (around a quarter of the
population) tend to have significantly higher marriage
and lower divorce rates compared to those with
The number of births among married white women actually
declined in 2006. This suggests that the
middle class was reacting to stratospheric housing
prices rather like the yuppie married couple with a 140
average IQ in the opening scene of
Idiocracy who prudently
explain "There`s no way we could have a child
now, not with the market the way it is."
In contrast, the number of births shot upwards among the
unmarried. Lower down the
social scale, marriage is more likely to be
postponed than babies.
Perhaps the absurd heights the cost of a house reached
in much of the country convinced a lot of
single working class women to give up on their
dreams of home and husband and just have a baby.
Right now, home prices are coming down. This might sound
like good news—but interest rates have gone up. So we`re
likely in for a lot more years like 2006.
There`s even more bad news buried in the numbers that
nobody at all will talk about—other than us reprobates
here at VDARE.COM. (Did I mention we`re having a
2] The "Racial
(or “Quota Quotient”) is rapidly worsening.
The “Racial Ratio” is the ratio of affirmative
action beneficiaries (i.e. Non-Asian Minorities—NAMs) to
"benefactors" (whites and sometimes Asians) who
must shoulder the burdens imposed by racial preferences.
This Racial Ratio is directly analogous to the
well-known “dependency ratio”—of retired
taxpaying workers—which is central to the debate
over the future of
Nixon Administration invented racial quotas in 1969,
there were almost eight whites for every black. So the
average cost per white of giving a boost to blacks was
Affirmative action, however, was soon extended to
immigrant groups. And, combined with the loosening
of immigration laws in
1965, this set us off on what the late political
scientist Hugh Davis Graham called a
Collision Course. The redefinition of
"minority" and massive non-traditional immigration
means that as of 2004, instead of one NAM for every
eight whites, now there is now one NAM for every 2.04
It will get worse. In 1996, there were 1.73 white babies
born for every NAM affirmative action baby. By 2005, the
ratio of benefactors to beneficiaries was down to 1.40.
And in 2006, it dropped to 1.35.
Of course, the actual Quota Quotient borne by whites
born in 2006 for the rest of their lives will be even
more onerous because so many Hispanic immigrants will
arrive, and (for reasons
nobody has ever explained) will be
immediately eligible for ethnic preferences.
Another ratio of interest: legitimate white babies to
illegitimate NAM babies. In 1990, it was more than 3 to
1. By 2005, it was just 1.87 to 1; and in 2006, 1.72 to
It`s vital to note that Hispanics are
toward white fertility levels. In 1996, Latino women
having babies at a rate equivalent to 2.77 per
lifetime, a level 56 percent higher than white women. In
2006, Latinos were up to 2.96, 59 percent more.
It is true that Hispanic fertility declines with
the number of generations in America. But
nobody remembered to seal the borders. Thus, a
remarkable five-eighths of Hispanic babies are born to
And immigrant Latinos have remarkably high total
3.7 in high-cost California, 131% higher than white
women in the Golden State.
3] Black fertility is rebounding.
The demographic good news for a number of years had been
that black fertility was finally headed toward racial
equality with white fertility. (You are in favor of
racial equality, aren`t you?)
For decades, black women had been deciding that they
needed to reduce the quantity of children they had so
they could increase the quality of the care they could
give each one. This trend was starting to alleviate some
of the pressure on social institutions.
But, ominously, the black "total fertility rate"
reversed its decline in 2006. It shot up from 2.02
babies per black woman per lifetime in 2005 to 2.11 in
This widened the racial inequality gap in total
fertility between black and white women from 0.18 babies
My conclusion: Last summer, economic historian Gregory
an intellectual bombshell in his book A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World.
He pointed out that, during England`s long rise from
1200 to 1800—leading up to its
invention of the Industrial Revolution (perhaps the
greatest gift any single country has given
humanity—England`s social system operated so that those
most likely to provide the next generation with the best
start in life had the most children.
For several reasons, not least the post-1965 immigration
disaster, America in the 21st Century is heading in the
features his daily blog.]