2004 May 26 Wednesday
Illegitimacy Trend Worsened By Hispanic Immigration

Roger Clegg reports on the worsening news about illegitimacy.

According to the latest National Vital Statistics Reports of the federal government, 34 percent of all births in the United States now are to unmarried mothers. Of course, it will surprise no one that nearly all births to girls below 15, and 80 percent of those to girls between 15 and 19, are out-of-wedlock. But even among women between 20 and 24, 52 percent of births are now illegitimate.

Those figures are for all races and ethnicities. As the federal report notes, however, in a decided understatement: “Birth rates for unmarried women vary widely by race and Hispanic origin.” Among African Americans, 68.2 percent of births are illegitimate, versus 23.0 percent for non-Hispanic whites. For American Indians, 59.7 percent of births are illegitimate; for Asians and Pacific Islanders, 14.9 percent; and for Hispanics of all races, 43.5 percent.

Of course, “Asians and Pacific Islanders” and “Hispanics” are artificial categories, and this is reflected in the wide range of illegitimacy rates among their respective subgroups. Thus, only 9.0 and 10.3 percent of Chinese and Japanese births, respectively, are out-of-wedlock, versus 20.0 percent for Filipinos and 50.4 percent for Hawaiians; and the percentage of illegitimate births for Puerto Ricans (59.1) is double that of Cubans (29.8), with Mexicans (42.1) and Central and South Americans (44.8) falling in between.

I will not belabor the obvious point: To indulge in an understatement of my own, those groups with higher illegitimacy rates aren’t doing as well as those with lower illegitimacy rates.

Of course Hispanics are America's most rapidly growing ethnic group. While some of the more Panglossian conservatives try to argue that Hispanics have such strong family values that it is inevitable that the Hispanics will become model Republicans some day (and why is it that Democrats have a bigger reputation for hallucinogen drug use?) the raw social science data argues strongly to the contrary.

While demograph trends in America are bad news for the Rino (Republican In Name Only) Party what is much worse is that the demographic trends in America are bad news for America.

Jack Dunphy (a pseudonym), an LAPD cop, witing about a recent murder of an 11 year old boy who was living with his grandparents on account of his parents being drug addicts, gives the bad news on the trend toward grandparents acting as parents.

As we debate whether a child can have two fathers or two mothers, can we at least agree that a child is harmed when he has no mother and no father? A May 1999 Census Bureau report, Coresident Grandparents and Grandchildren, tells of the sharp rise in the number of children being raised by their grandparents. In 1970 there were 2.2 million children living in homes maintained by grandparents. By 1980 the figure had risen modestly to 2.3 million, or about 3 percent of all children under age 18. In 1997 there were 3.9 million such children, or 5.5 percent of all minors in the country. The report attributes this increase to "the growth in drug use among parents, teen pregnancy, divorce, the rapid rise of single-parent households, mental and physical illness, AIDS, crime, child abuse and neglect, and incarceration of parents." Most police officers, especially those working in the grittier areas of large cities, are well aware of the consequences of these numbers. Even the healthiest grandparent is no match for the typical American teenager

What Dunphy doesn't bring up is that the next generation is going to be even worse. I know of cases where the grandparents have raised their grandkids where the grandkids then went on to have children they were too irresponsible to raise. Well, this is a stop-gap measure. Once the last responsible generation is dead who is going to raise the later generations of messed up kids?

Taxpayers are of course going to pay increasing costs for all of this and society will function less well.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2004 May 26 02:36 PM  Immigration Societal Decay

Eric Weis said at May 27, 2004 4:18 AM:

I think the last "responsible" Generation has already died back in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. How can you have a responsible generation raising the irresponsible? Not common sense. The WWII generation started the great down fall of western society, who raised the “flower power free love kids!” which in turned raised the gen X group. The “I am responsible for my self standards and strive to higher morals" generation that was the practiced western values started it’s decay with the children of the WWII and as availability of instant knowledge can so did it speed up the loss of responsibility for ones action. There are still folks around who are of better metal but that group has become an small ineffective minority and can only watch in horror as or western society dies, as all things go in a cycle I believe the world is on the brink of a “dark age” similar too the past dark age in that man will feast on his own flesh until a turning point once again focuses man on the improvement of the whole and not the betterment of individual groups.

speedwell said at May 27, 2004 1:15 PM:

The mother of my abusive ex-husband sued me successfully for custody, after I took my son and left the situation, on the grounds that I was clinically depressed (uh, yeah, what did they expect after that?). Why don't you tell HER how bad it is to keep me away from him? Better yet, why don't you tell the social workers who stole my baby?

Brock said at May 28, 2004 9:26 AM:

Anecdotaly, I can tell you that there's a lot of disrespect among the Northeast Corridor 20-somethings for the parenting skills of the boomers. They know how damaging divorce is, and I (and many of my friends) know the problems of single-parent households.

This disrespect has taken two 'most common' forms. One is "I'm never going to have kids. My own childhood was too awful. I won't do that to others." The Second is "Fuck them. We'll do this right."

I can't know that we're going to do it right, but among my circle of friends I know a lot of people who saw that the amount of work boomers put into their families was insufficient, and that more is needed. Maybe we'll mess it up too, but we're going to try.

I expect that's why 'family values' coalitions and other 'conservative' initiatives at college campuses are much more popular with students than faculty. Some folks among the younger generation have realized how dysfunctional the prior generations are, and are looking for a solution.

John S Bolton said at June 11, 2004 10:49 PM:

The Latino illegitimacy rate is almost half the total, and conservative politicians tell us that these people represent family values? How can a population with such a high illegitimacy rate be praised as having strong families? A fifty percent high school drop-out rate is also not an indication of family values. Yet these factors might be an indication of the rapid assimilation to minority norms that we've been told to expect. Pro-immigrationists have used such dishonest arguments, why can't they find a sensible one? Here's the best one I've ever heard: it is good to have ambitious people for bad jobs, as I've heard it explained, although in a thoroughly inarticulate manner, by some basic level managerial staff. Yet the pro-immigrationists don't dare to make their case on this basis; it is too flimsy. After all, what makes the bad jobs bad, and do the immigrants themselves contribute to the undesirable quality that such jobs acquire?

Cynthia Curra said at August 2, 2004 8:54 AM:

Why blame the babybommers when the highest groups are black and hispanics which have nothing to do with the hippie culture which was mainly white . In fact asians have the lowest rates of anyone for out of wedlock births beacuse it a cultural shame

mayra acevedo said at March 21, 2006 10:04 AM:

i am doing a reaserch project on a some what similar topic i am researshing on immigrant parents that have or raise children in the united states and the cultural diffrence that creates since the children dont know what their parents life was in their country and what im trying to find out is the problem it creates between the two trying to cope with certain cituations what reaserch do you know of that could help me i would really be intrested

Angie said at August 29, 2006 10:56 AM:

This trend is so bad that it is becoming accepted in some quarters. I attended a college last year as part-of a non-trad program, and a 29 year old who sat next to me was having an illigitimate child.

I was getting heckled and harassed for having more mainstream conservative views (although I do not want any kids for reasons I have no idea about, just not particularly interested in having one around 24/7, although I think the ones that belong to everyone else are quite cute), but the college administrators were all about "Shall we buy her flowers?" for the lady who was expecting. Well, that's nice to do for anyone, since you don't always know the life story (maybe the guy was a total cad and refused to marry her, but maybe she's strongly pro-life there), and it would be horribly uncouth to suggest someone not have the child, but you cannot escape the sense that for many of these women, they never planned to do things in the right order. They knew they might end up pregnant, and you get the idea that it was planned that way, even without a decent guy who would marry them if the kid came along.

Contraceptives can fail from time to time, due to human error or even mixing them with medicines that render them less effective, but come on...over a quarter of these kids were truly "unplanned" there? They're not even bothering with contraception or making sure the guy isn't a total cad loser who is just using them to bear kids they're happy to have, but yet they expect the mother and the rest of society to prop up (via tax dollars).

That the stigma is lessened is a huge part of the problem. Just look at Sweden! Half the kids are born out of wedlock over there. Very sad.

jlb said at September 19, 2009 1:31 AM:

Let’s face it, in modern American society, no matter what you tell someone, they are going to do what they want to do. And when it comes to sex, in our society and culture, all common sense seems to elude us.
If religion says, and most religions do, that sex outside of marriage is not only wrong, but it is a sin. No fornication and no adultery are allowed. The children born out of wedlock have a name: the child is a bastard. It is not a comment on the character of the child; it is a comment on the morality of the parents. That is the statement of the belief. If people have sex outside of marriage under those terms, claiming to be a believer, it is a violation of the religion.
We are becoming a nation of bastard children.
I mean no disrespect to anyone, but words are intended to have meaning. For example: AVOID CLIFF EDGE – FATAL FALLING HAZARD. Pay attention and you are safer, ignore the warning and you increase your risk of danger.
When huge numbers of people say that they have religion, whatever that means to them; and they practice something everyday, which goes against that religion, the result is obvious. People end up with something that they do not really believe and clearly do not practice. Any statistic based on this sort of group will be untrustworthy because it is based on falsehoods and lies. We should not ignore this.
It is my experience, that there are actually few young religious people who practice what they say they believe.
In my personal experience, people are doing what they want to do. They are following what they believe is good for the moment and since it is good for them, it makes no difference what anybody else thinks. Moral-Relativism is the real religion of most people today and it is practiced with passion and with fervor.
The parents stopped believing and practicing their faith years ago, and their children are doing there best to be obediant and not practice their parents faith, and are doing it in large numbers.

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