But even I was shocked by the new data for 2006 released last Wednesday, December 5.
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
Louisianaand .) South Carolina
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 20s.)
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.
# of babies: 2006 v. 2005
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 traditionalism."[The State of Our Unions |The Social Health of Marriage in America]
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 three times 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 percentage points).
I don't think anybody knows for sure what caused 2006’s unexpected surge in illegitimacy.
But I'll make a suggestion: [MORE]
December 9, 2007
An excerpt from my new Vdare.com column:
By Steve Sailer on 12/09/2007