2013 April 06 Saturday
Illegitimate Birth Rates By Race

Someone recently asked in comments about illegitimate birth rates by race. Seems like worthy of above-the-fold treatment. Here's a CDC report that breaks down unmarried child bearing (they no longer refer to these births as illegitimate). Contrary to some conservative delusions over half of Hispanic births are illegitimate:

In 2010, 40.8 percent of all birthswere to unmarried women. This level compares with 33.2 percent in 2000 and 18.4 percent in 1980 (Table C). Within age groups, 88 percent of births to teenagers and 63 percent of births to women aged 20–24 were nonmarital. One in five births to women aged 30 and over were to unmarried women. The proportions of nonmarital births vary widely among population sub­ groups. In 2010, these proportions were 17 percent for API, 29 percent for non-Hispanic white, 53 percent for Hispanic, 66 percent for AIAN, and 73 percent for non-Hispanic black births.

The disincentives from moral disapproval for babies outside of marriage have fallen away. The Associated Press advises journalists against using the term "illegitimate child". We are not supposed to pass judgment on the decline in civilization.

There is a long term accumulating cost due to our loss of the benefits of the Malthusian Trap. What are we supposed to do with our growing lower class as they become unemployable? It is already happening. The labor market participation rate has dropped all the way back to 1979. Given the rise of women in the workforce since 1979 to get back to 1979 overall means a lot of men are no longer working.

The low labor market participation rate makes the unemployment rate look much lower than it really is. Even the official unemployment rates bode poorly given America's changing racial demographics:

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (6.9 percent), adult women (7.0 percent), teenagers (24.2 percent), whites (6.7 percent), blacks (13.3 percent), and Hispanics (9.2 percent) showed little or no change in March. The jobless rate for Asians was 5.0 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

Read this Barron's article. America's real unemployment rate is about 4Z% higher.

Had labor-force participation rates remained around the 66% level that had prevailed before the 2007-2009 recession, the unemployment rate would be about four percentage points higher, in the mid-11% range, writes Joshua Shapiro, chief economist for MFR.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2013 April 06 11:26 AM 

ivvenalis said at April 6, 2013 11:47 AM:

I think in the thread you're talking about, the guy was referencing genetic differences. The thing is, that while the usual black>hispanic>white>asian pattern here might be hereditary, looking at the change from 1960-2010 makes it pretty obvious that the current absolute rates (which are insane) can't possibly be the result of genetic: it's only three generations at most! Social policies 100% responsible for the massive *increase* in the last few decades.

Just Chillin said at April 7, 2013 9:13 AM:

It seems to me that you are talking about two different topics. One is about whether calling children of unmarried women "illegitimate" and the other is about unemployment.

If the Associated Press advises journalists against using the term "illegitimate child", I agree. I don't know what rights would an "illegitimate"-called citizen be deprived of. If none, then the word "illegitimate" loses all meaning. Still, why would a child be called "illegitimate" when it is not his/her fault how he/she was born.

SOBL1 said at April 7, 2013 8:06 PM:

Besides the removal of shaming tools and the expansion of the welfare state, a very real switch happened where kids went from being a planned and desired outcome to 'just happening'. Kids happen and invade your life, but you keep trucking on. This was tucked into a NY Times or Atlantic article on the issue of parenting and how many couples are couples and never think of having kids, but whoops, someone gets pregnant because life just happens. The devaluing of children from a blessing to a burden has been a horrible consequence of the post-'60s, anything goes culture. This is another change that has exploded within 40 years that is an absolute revolution in our society.

Ronbo said at May 28, 2013 7:11 PM:

Births among teenagers declined 25% from 2007 to 2011 and are at their lowest rate ever. Biggest drops were among Hispanics and blacks. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6142a8.htm

So that problem is getting fixed.

For the rest, the answer is not to shame these single mothers. Plenty of them might marry later; plenty of women who are married when they give birth later divorce. Probably the single biggest factor that puts many on welfare is the lack of affordable, quality day care. When day care costs several hundred dollars a month, per child, the incentive to work at a low paying job is gone. Creating publicly subsidized day care centers would also provide jobs for many of them.

Or, you know, we could just complain that they were immoral hussies and fret and fume and do nothing.

Claudia Larson said at October 27, 2015 8:43 AM:

October 2012 says Hispanics have a 53% Illegitimacy rate! More and More Hispanics find that dropping anchor is a way to stay and avail themselves of a life without work or a husband.


Claudia Larson said at November 15, 2017 9:09 AM:

2017 - There are 60,000,000 Hispanics in the US. In 1980 there were only 14,000,000 - Either they are legalizing illegals at an alarming rate or they have an open thy policy that we can not afford subsidize.

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