2004 December 13 Monday
Steve Sailer: Time Married Best Predictor Of Pro-Bush Voting

Steve Sailer has discovered that the number of years married for white women aged 18 through 44 is an even stronger prediction of voting for Bush than fertility for white women.

Overall, Bush carried the top 25 states ranked on years married for white women. The correlation coefficient with Bush's share of the vote is 0.91, or 83 percent of the variation "explained." That's extremely high. Years married also correlates with the 2000 election results at the 0.89 level (80 percent). So it's no fluke.

The r-squared when years married and fertility are combined in a multiple regression model is improves to 88 percent. (Small-sounding change, perhaps, but actually an important (30%) reduction in the unaccounted variation - from 17 percent to 12 percent.)

Steve says low housing costs and generally low living costs are key to higher early marriage and white fertility rates. Immigration raises housing and living costs and so shifts people into patterns of living that make them more likely to vote for the Democratic Party.

What is the simplest way to keep population density under control and public school quality up—thus allowing more young people to afford the Republicanizing blessings of marriage and children?

Cut back on immigration.

One of the ways that immigration lowers white fertility is by creating more populations that whites want to flee from to escape crime and social pathologies. Whites end up needing to spend more money to get into more exclusive neighborhoods to escape what becomes of white working class neighborhoods when lower skilled and more crime-prone Hispanics move in. The competition becomes more intense to get into neighborhoods whose kids are less likely to be disruptive in school classrooms or to require lots of special education tutoring. Also, whites end up commuting much longer distances and this both adds another cost to households and also makes it extremely difficult for the two parents to share child-raising chores like, say, taking Johnnie to the doctor or picking up Jill after music lessons. If the husband is driving an hour or two into the big city to go to work every day then the wife is going to be less keen on procreating.

I do not think we have the slightest moral obligation to import the rest of the world's problems. It is time to shut down immigration entirely.

Update: Steve answers some of his critics. Note that the critics are just character assassins. Someone asked in a comment to this post for substantive critiques of Steve's analyses. But knee-jerk politically correct left-liberals can't be bothered to engage in rational analysis.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2004 December 13 03:01 AM  Politics American Domestic

noone said at December 13, 2004 4:05 AM:

That's only part of the story,kids consume resource(time,money) that would otherwise be spent on the parents personal gratification.
More kids=fewer designer shoes and fewer tech toys for dad.
More kids=less time for "personal actualization"(I don't know what it means either)less time at the coffee shop,less time for corporate ladder climbing,etc.
More kids=more basic staple foods and less Normandy butter and other trendy food fads.

First adopt a consumption tax to break the back of the mindless consumerism rampant in society(add a deep economic downturn)and then move to the social attitudes(which will be far harder to change).

Invisible Scientist said at December 13, 2004 5:12 AM:

Randall Parker wrote:
" Immigration raises housing and living costs ....

It is time to shut down immigration entirely. "


The educated people are going to have a lower percentage of children regardless of
cheaper housing. Lower housing cost would help educated people to have more kids,
but without immigration, the US population
will be as stagnatnt of Europe, and as a result, the economic growth that is due to the
activity in the housing industry would slow. Much of the US GDP is due to the activity in
the housing sector, which is also connected with appliances, furniture, electronics, computers,
and even cars. So stopping the population growth would be a recipe for permanent recession
like in Europe. In fact, immigration is responsible for a large part of the growth in the GDP
even outside the housing sector. This was one reason the politicians like immigration.

Additionally, instead of shutting down the immigration completely, as the author suggests,
it is much better to impose a very strict list of qualifications for immigration. A high IQ
requirement, health, young age, and other essentials such as an advanced degree that is in demand,
etc. Such qualified people will enrich the gene pool of the USA. For instance, let us start by
modifying the ridiculous annual green card lottery that grants permanent US residency to 50,000
random foreigners per year. We should impose a minimum IQ requirement of 129 (higher than
Kery's and Bush's IQ) and a Master's degree from a serious institutions, young age, good health, etc.

But don't get me wrong. I do believe that slow growth in the economy is better than mindless growth
based on consumption of lower quality goods and superficial entertainment. If we can convince people of
the value of quality instead of quantity, then the issue of growth will be solved to some extent.

Chris Rasch said at December 13, 2004 7:56 AM:

What about requiring immigrants to post a bond? For example, let's say you would have to put up a bond worth say, $50 K. If you then were arrested, or subsequently went on welfare, the bond would be forfeit to pay for the costs that you impose on others.

Invisible Scientist said at December 13, 2004 9:30 AM:

Chris Rasch wrote:
"What about requiring immigrants to post a bond? For example, let's say you would have to put up a bond worth say, $50 K. If you then were arrested, or subsequently went on welfare, the bond would be forfeit to pay for the costs that you impose on others.
Your suggestion is only secondary in the sense that it still does not enrich the US gene pool and talent.
The high talent and IQ, as well as Master's degree and good health and young age requirement was not
simply to prevent crime and welfare, but to enrich the population quality of the US.
We must find a way to attract high quality people to enrich the gene pool, and in addition to modifying the
green card lottery, we must even create a special immigration quota to attract super smart kids to the US.

Curious Citizen form Sweden said at December 13, 2004 12:42 PM:

These correlations are remarkably high for social sciences. Do they really hold under careful examination? Does anyone have links to good critical studies of Sailers thesis?

If Sailers data hold, my prediction is that there is a lot of other (meaningful) variables that are also connected.

"Don’t resist evil, and it will somehow destroy itself. But why should it?" - Orwell

Randall Parker said at December 13, 2004 1:35 PM:


I do not think that IQ tests on immigrants are politically possible. I think it would be easier (though not easy) to win a total halt of immigration than it would be to impose IQ minimums.

Chris Rasch,

Such a bond would be anathema to the Open Borders crowd that opposes any restriction on mass low-skilled immigration. I like the idea though.

Curious Swede,

The criticisms of Steve's analyses have not been quantitative. The attacks have been along the lines of accusing him of being a Nazi and a racist and similar stuff. The data that Steve used to do his analysis with is all publically downloadable. Steve even posted at some point on his site (or maybe it was in a gnxp.com thread) where he got the data from. If you were serious about firing up a spreadsheet and doing the analyses yourself I'd find out for you where you could get the data.

John S Bolton said at December 13, 2004 5:55 PM:

What portion of the correlation uncovered remains, when the NHWhite contribution to it is removed? If it is no higher than any number of other predictors, that would indicate why the very high correlation given, must be considered in these terms. The racially specific aspect of the correlations presented is striking, especially in relation to the anti-caucasian political structure of the US today. If one were to consider the voting rights act as assuming that the majority will conspire to disfranchise the racial minorities, or the public schools' racial equalization regimes, which seem to assume that an envious condition of the disadvantaged minorities is caused by caucasian children; such correlations make sense. Terminal lineages will be more indifferent to the future; while, in proportion as they are fecund, the viable need to care about their descendants' chances. The main point would seem to be that the white portion of the left is composed of terminal lineages significantly more than the right is; and this dictates the further racialization of our politics. If the politics of the country becomes, every year, more about racial conflict, as happens also from the conjunction of immigration policy and racial quotas, don't peaceful resolutions become also less likely each year? That one could consider this prospect, and say we have still too little combustible material of such conflict, and should be made to pay to import more, does not come from peaceable motivations.

crush41 said at December 13, 2004 6:01 PM:

"What about requiring immigrants to post a bond? For example, let's say you would have to put up a bond worth say, $50 K. If you then were arrested, or subsequently went on welfare, the bond would be forfeit to pay for the costs that you impose on others."

There is a correlation between income and IQ, so such an idea would likely have a negligible or even slighty positive effect on U.S. human capital. It would lower criminality among immigrants and provide public fund injections, provided the BP simultaneously grew teeth. The interesting market dynamic of investment in people would potentially act as a screening process that could allow for poor immigrants endowed with high IQs to be filtered in at the economic risk of the bond holders.

The putative charge of American arrogance globally held would be further inflamed, however.

Foreign countries would fight tooth and nail against a U.S. IQ entrance exam. Of course, they would fight against anything that exports talent--they're (specifically Mexico) much more content to send their problems here.

John S Bolton said at December 13, 2004 9:07 PM:

On the contrary, countries are more respected, and less propagandized against, if they do not try to be all things to all men. Japan,S Korea, and many other countries do not allow immigration, and they don't get even the hundredth part of the criticism that the stupidly openhanded American government does. When you take a third-world illiterate and raise his income ten or a hundred-fold, the others will say, why won't you do for my people, what you did for those? They will hate you for the injustice that you flaunted before them, won't they? Regarding the criticism of Sailer's thesis; there seem to be only ad hominem fallacies offered against it. If it stays that way, it looks very bad for such critics, who are unable to conceive a rational argument. If one were to say, but why does the racial aspect have to come up, couldn't you find a way to just suppress that somehow, an answer might be given to that. It might be shown that, without the contribution of this specific population into the correlation, there remains only a number of no predictive worth compared to abundant others, which presumably is the reason why it is presented in terms of just these groups.

Invisibile Scientist said at December 14, 2004 12:02 AM:

Randall Parker wrote:
"I do not think that IQ tests on immigrants are politically possible. I think it would be easier (though not easy) to win a total
halt of immigration than it would be to impose IQ minimums."

Instead of IQ tests, SAT and GRE tests plus university degree requirements and high grades,
may be politically possible because these are popular. Also SAT, GRE, and grades do correlate with IQ.

But so far .This was the "minimum" I was talking about. On the other hand, we can also create a special
smart kid quota separately, and this would not be politically impossible, since this will not look exclusionary,
but just a way of adding diversity.

Steve Sailer said at December 14, 2004 12:54 AM:

"What portion of the correlation uncovered remains, when the NHWhite contribution to it is removed?"

Good question. Total Fertility at the state level for all races did not correlate anywhere near as well with Bush's share of the total vote by state as did white total fertility (r-squared = 37% for fertility of entire population vs. r-squared of 74% for fertility of whites). This seems strange at first because the percentage of a state that is black should have a big impact on its voting because blacks are so anti-Bush. But, it doesn't.

However, "years married" works almost as well for all races (r-2 of 75%) as it does for whites (r-2 of 83%) at correlating with Bush's share of the all races vote by state. On the other hand, maybe it's best to subtract those numbers from 1 and then you see that looking just at whites is still quite a bit better: 17% left over for whites vs. 25% for all races.

A multiple regression model based on white fertility and white years married gives an r-squared of 88% (or 12% left over) versus 80% ( 20%) for those two measures for all races.

I suspect that minority "maritalism" is fairly good for white maritalism and fertility in that where minorities are more likely to be married, the crime rate would be lower and the costs of insulating a family would thus be less, encouraging whites to get married and have children. However, I'll have to look to see if there are big differences in rates of being married by state for blacks and other minorities. I believe blacks are most likely to be married in Hawaii and Alaska, states where most blacks have some connection to the military and thus tend to be solid citizens. I believe Hispanics marriage rates are low among Puerto Ricans and moderate among Mexicans/Central Americans.

On the other hand, I don't think minority fertility much encourages white fertility, which could explain the big gap in r-2s between white and overall fertility correlations. Perhaps "married fertility" among minorities encourages white fertility, but unmarried fertility among minorities probably leads to higher crime and lousier public schools, which discourage white fertility.

As the Swedish guest says, "These correlations are remarkably high for social sciences." Indeed, they are.

One reason they are so extraordinarily high is because Washington D.C. gets heavily weighted by being an outlier. On the other hand, the scatter plots show that even though it is radically different from all 50 states, it falls very close to the best fit line. D.C. is the purest example of a true blue city, whereas almost all the states combine bluish urban areas and reddish rural areas -- Illinois being a good example of a huge blue city and a vast red hinterland.

Here's a cool map of the data: http://www.herdrick.com/coloredmaps/bushvote-tffr-pregs-births-aborts-birthsperabort.html

And here's the data: http://www.vdare.com/sailer/041212_secret_table.htm

Please drop me a line with any ideas you might have.

John S Bolton said at December 14, 2004 1:32 AM:

Congratulations on your discovery, and hopefully it will become known to all the right people. It looks especially good that the data forces the focus on the non-hispanic white population, so that if one combined minority TFR with the marriage indicator for minorities only, one would get a predictor of much inferior validity, if I am estimating correctly.

John S Bolton said at December 14, 2004 1:45 AM:

Yes, that is quite remarkable the way the straight line correlation just skewers the outliers. That is very seldom seen, that I can recall. This is not random; the variables are closely related, and there is nothing arbitrary about the selection of groups to look at.

John S Bolton said at December 14, 2004 9:25 PM:

A new study by Joanna Shepherd at Clemson on racial competition uses county and metro-level data to determine that racial diversity increases crime, and interracial crime with an elasticity of 3x the diversity index. It has the online title of 'racial diversity, residential segregation and crime'... The import of it is much like the interpretation given of the data commented on above. How to increase maritalism-natalism? Tell them that they have essentially no chance of being given a more creative project than raising a baby, except in the rare instances where it is not true. One might emphasize the lesbocratic pattern of neo-feminism.

Randall Parker said at December 14, 2004 10:06 PM:


I found Joanna Shepherd's paper. From the abstract:

My results show that most violent and property crimes are positively related to both diversity and segregation, even after controlling for other socioeconomic and demographic characteristics; crime will be highest in areas where different races are equally represented, but live in separate neighborhoods. Moreover, tests confirm that my diversity measures are not proxying for racial groups that disproportionately commit crime and that my results are not caused by any potential endogeneity between crime and diversity. Finally, my estimations are designed so that the racial diversity measure does not pick up other types of diversity that could increase crime, such as income diversity or religious diversity. Additional analyses confirm the predictions of my industrial organization theory: diversity increases both inter- and intra-racial crimes. The crime increases can be explained both by racial competition that reduces the provision of certain public goods and by competitive pressures that induce violence.

Also, from the full paper:

My econometric analysis of counties from 1990-1999 and metropolitan areas in 1980, 1990, and 2000 finds that both diversity and segregation increase crime. Moreover, tests of the combined effect of diversity and segregation reveal that segregation worsens diversity’s effect on crime. My results are robust to many alternative specifications. Moreover, tests confirm that my diversity measures are not proxying for racial groups that disproportionately commit crime. Nor are the results caused by any potential endogeneity between crime and diversity. Finally, my estimations are designed so that my racial diversity measure is not picking up other types of diversity, such as income diversity or religious diversity, which could increase crime.

The results from my econometric analysis confirm the predictions of my industrial organization theory of racial competition. The theory suggests that diversity increases both inter and intra-racial crime as racial groups compete. Segregation sharpens the competition.

My results in no way establish that diversity is bad; diversity provides countless benefits such as awareness of other racial groups and an intermingling of cultures. However, this paper, for the first time, focuses on one of diversity’s costs: increased crime. To determine the optimal amount of diversity in a region, one must weigh diversity’s numerous benefits against the costs.

John S Bolton said at December 14, 2004 11:11 PM:

This might explain some part of Sailer's correlations; a sorting of groups takes place, such that those with children, and who accept responsibility for them, are more in flight from diversity than those with fewer or none. Their being displaced by diversity will also tend to push them to the right, since the left is always in the forefront of redistribution towards disadvantaged minorities, and against exclusionary developments. A large part of New England has little diversity, though, but it does have lots of academic influence, promoting anti-caucasianism, anti-natalism, neo-feminism, environmentalism, anti-family attitudes and more.

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