Auguste Comte, the founder of sociology, is said to have proclaimed, "Demography is destiny." So you might think that annual release of the latest birth statistics by the federal National Center for Health Statistics might engender some careful scrutiny in the press.
But you would be W-R-O-N-G.
Instead, the New York Times covered Births: Preliminary Data for 2007 in its "Health" section. The insightfulness of Main Stream Media analysis is displayed in this quote from the NYT's article '07 U.S. Births Break Baby Boom Record [by Erik Eckholm, March 19, 2009]:
"But in contrast with the culturally transforming postwar boom, when a smaller population of women bore an average of three or four children, the recent increase mainly reflects a larger population of women of childbearing age…"
Nothing "culturally transforming" going on in the new birth numbers. Nothing! Just move along, folks, no need to gawk.
The Associated Press write-up by AP medical writer Mike Stobbe [March 18, 2009] reflects the conventional wisdom:
"Behind the number is both good and bad news. While it shows the U.S. population is more than replacing itself, a healthy trend, the teen birth rate was up for a second year in a row."
As you can see, the main area of birth statistics you are allowed to worry about in public is…teen births. Teen births are Bad. It doesn't matter if a 19-year-old high school graduate married lady gives birth. Teen births are, ipso facto, socially unhealthy.
A high birthrate for the "U.S. population," on the other hand, is "healthy," according to the wire service.
Everybody knows that. Don't ask inconvenient questions about increased carbon emissions and global warming. That kind of thinking goes in a wholly separate compartment.
And don't even think about who exactly is getting defined as being part of the "U.S. population." Don't try to document just how high the fertility of the "undocumented" is.
And, above all, don't ask: Why do we need high immigration if we have high fertility? Or why do we need high fertility if we have high immigration?
It's none of your concern. You're just a citizen.
So, what actually happened in 2007 to birthrates according to the federal statistics?
After the 2006 birth statistics were released, I reported in VDARE.com that 2006 represented a "demographic disaster". Now the 2007 numbers are out and, due to the combination of malign long term trends and the Bush-Rove Housing Bubble, they're even more disastrous
Everything that suddenly got worse at an accelerated pace in 2006 kept on getting even worse in 2007, although usually at a slightly slower rate.
For example, the national illegitimacy rate suddenly grew from 36.9 percent in 2005 to 38.5 percent in 2006, a dramatic 1.6 point increase following a 1.1 point growth in 2005. In 2007, the out-of-wedlock rate was only up 1.2 points to 39.7 percent. So, you could say that the pace of worsening is decelerating, which sort of sounds good.
Or you could say that in 2007, two babies out every five were born to unwed mothers. And that sounds bad.
Because it is bad.
From 2005 to 2007, the number of babies born in the United States to married women declined 0.3 percent. In contrast, the number born to unmarried women grew 12.3 percent.
The illegitimacy rate was up in 2007 among all ethnicities, even among blacks, whom you might expect would be running out of ceiling room. Yet from 2005 to 2007, the black out-of-wedlock rate grew from 69.9 percent to 71.6 percent. Among whites, it was up 25.3 percent to 27.8 percent over those two years.
The fastest increase is found among Hispanics, up from 48.0 percent to 51.3 percent. According to Rutgers sociologist David Popenoe, co-director of the National Marriage Project, that's compared to just 19 percent in 1980. He writes, "…Hispanics seem to have assimilated into the American culture of secular individualism more than the reverse. … These trends contradict earlier expectations that Hispanics might bring this nation a new wave of family traditionalism." [The State of Our Unions |The Social Health of Marriage in America]
The growth in Hispanic illegitimacy is especially important because Hispanics keep increasing as a share of all new births, married or unmarried, up from 14.3 percent in 1990 to 23.8 percent in 2005 to 24.6 percent in 2007.
Thus, from 2005 to 2007, the number of babies born to unmarried white women dropped 2.0 percent, while the number of babies born to unmarried Hispanic women grew 15.2 percent.
Hispanic women in 2007 had babies at the rate of three per lifetime (to be precise, a "total fertility rate" of 2.99, up from 2.89 in 2005). That's 60 percent higher than the total fertility rate among non-Hispanic white women (1.86, below the "replacement rate").
Research into Census data by demographer Hans P. Johnson of the Public Policy Institute of California shows that most of the Hispanic-white difference in babies per woman is caused by immigrants rather than American-born Hispanics. In California in 2005, the total fertility was 3.7 among immigrant Latinas versus 1.6 for American-born white women.
That 3.7 total fertility rate among Latina immigrants is also dramatically higher than the total fertility rate of 2.34 for the country of Mexico. In other words, immigrants, many of them illegal, are coming to America to have the babies they couldn't afford to have in their own countries.
California provides a glimpse into the future. In 2007, almost twice as many children were born to Latinas (296,942, up from 283,600 in 2005) as to non-Hispanic white women (155,930, down from 159,629 in 2005).
Here's a picture of California.
A huge social science project tracking a sample of legal immigrants was recently begun by the federal government in 2003. Its official website describes it as:
"The New Immigrant Survey (NIS) is a nationally representative multi-cohort longitudinal study of new legal immigrants and their children to the United States based on nationally representative samples…"
NIS data are available for free to the public. Jason Richwine, a doctoral student at Harvard writing his dissertation on the crucial linkage between immigration and IQ, took a look at the NIS results for a subtest of the Wechsler IQ test given to children of legal immigrants between ages 3 and 12. The offspring of Mexican immigrants averaged an 82, which is about the 12th percentile among non-Hispanic white children. This is even lower than the 89 average IQ for Hispanics in America found in the 2001 meta-analysis by Roth et al.
For large groups of people, average IQ correlates with earning power. That has implications for investors that have been overlooked.
A recent University of Virginia study showed that 7/8ths of the late Housing Bubble (as measured in home value inflation from 2000 to 2007) took place in just the four heavily Hispanic "Sand States" of California, Arizona, Nevada, and Florida, with California alone accounting for almost two thirds of the nationwide boom. Investors reasoned that the growing quantity of population in those states meant that home values would have to rise.
Unfortunately, lenders, borrowers, and investors left out of their calculations those states' declining quality of population, as measured in earning capacity and desirability of neighborhoods. Eventually, the Sand States bubble popped—with global consequences.
Why did the trends in birth statistics suddenly get worse in 2006-2007? Recall that birth statistics are driven by conditions nine months earlier. My guess is that the easy credit of the Bush Boom encouraged the imprudent to have children, while the high home prices during the Housing Bubble discouraged the prudent from starting or enlarging families. Recall the opening scene of Mike Judge's suppressed satire Idiocracy, where the yuppie couple with an average IQ of 140 cautiously explain, "There's no way we could have a child now, not with the market the way it is."
America's greatest immigration-restrictionist intellectual, Benjamin Franklin, pointed out in 1751 in his Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind, that the happiness of Americans is closely tied to a low population density, which leads to inexpensive land and high wages. In turn, that allows more citizens to be able to afford to marry and to have children.
Of course, both parties and the press have ignored old Ben's wisdom—with results that are becoming increasingly apparent.
[Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservative. His website www.iSteve.blogspot.com features his daily blog. His new book, AMERICA'S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA'S "STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE", is available here.]