Thursday, January 17, 2008

Why spiritual beliefs are relevant, as much as the press would not want you to believe

Excellent post by Mollie at GetReligion:

Stobbe quotes someone who thinks immigration policy might have something to do with it since illegal immigrants have an incentive to give birth to children in America as the children are then entitled to all the benefits of citizenship. He then goes to an academic for his insight into why this baby boomlet is occurring. He says it has to do with culture more than race and that factors include “declines in contraceptive use here; limited access to abortion in some states; and a 24/7 economy that provides opportunities for mothers to return to work.” There are other reasons, such as cultural acceptance of out-of-wedlock births, he says. The story also mentions that are regional variations in the United States birth rate:

New England’s fertility rates are more like Northern Europe’s. American women in the Midwest, South and certain mountain states tend to have more children.

Yep, I think we fully understand the data. We know exactly why Hispanics have more children, we know everything there is to know about why New England’s fertility rates are as low as irreligious Europe. And we know why women in certain mountain states have more kids. Actually, apparently we need to know more about that last demographic group. In the very last line of Stobbe’s lengthy piece, he finally mentions the ghost that haunts the entire piece. A Belgian academic says religion might play a role in the mountain state fertility rates. “Evangelical Protestantism and Mormons,” he says.

Wow. It almost seems like demographers and reporters have to work double time to divorce religion from birth rates.

No comments:

Post a Comment