Tuesday, December 14, 2004

The Baby Gap and the Marriage Gap

Last weekend I linked to David Brooks' column about the movement he calls "natalism" (aka "Makin' Babies"). Brooks referenced this article by Steve Sailer about the "Baby Gap." (No, not a chain of clothing stores for trendy tots, but rather the curious statistic that showed Bush winning 25 of the top 26 states with the highest white fertility rates, while Kerry carried the 16 states with the lowest birth rates.) Now sailer produces a follow-up piece on the "Marriage Gap."
There is another demographic factor that correlates at the state level even more tightly than white fertility with Bush's share: being married.

And, when years married is teamed with fertility in a two-factor multiple regression model, the correlation becomes stratospheric.

The more years of their young adulthoods that the white people in a state spend in wedlock on average, the more Republican the state is overall.

This of course brings up a sort of chicken-or-egg question. Is it that Republicans tend to be married, baby-makin' folks; or that being married and having babies causes one to move rightward on the scale? If it's the latter, then no amount of "go forth and multiply" commands from the DNC will help.

(And given all the talk about the Red-State/Blue-State "Religion Gap," I suppose we have to ask a similar chicken-or-egg question: is it that Republicans tend to be regular churchgoers; or is it that deciding to commit to regular churchgoing causes one to lean toward the Republicans?)

The Baby Gap suggests that the culture war is a war of attrition, and conservatives will eventually win by sheer numbers.

Sailers also points out that there really isn't much of an Education Gap.
In case you are wondering, five out of the ten states with the most-educated white populations gave their Electoral Votes to Bush. Strikingly, the most socially conservative state, Utah, has the seventh most-educated whites, ahead of even educationally haughty archliberal Massachusetts.

However, nine out of the bottom ten least-educated white populations are in red states—mostly in the South.

Despite the notorious Red State-Blue State IQ Hoax with which so many millions of Democrats consoled themselves after November's election, exit poll data shows that, across all races, the two parties' voters are virtually identical in years of schooling. They were tied in 2000, the GOP was slightly ahead in 2002, and the Democrats were up in 2004, but only by only about 0.15 years of classwork per voter.

However, white Democrats tend to be somewhat more educated than white Republicans (who are what white Democrats are thinking about when they obsess about their superiority).

In contrast, black and Hispanic Republicans average more years of schooling than their Democratic co-ethnics.


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