Health

Fertility by non-Hispanic white ethnic group, etc.

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanSep 2, 2010 3:14 PM

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In my post on American fertility rates by racial groupMike Keesey asks: 'It’d also be interesting to see what’s going on within “non-Hispanic whites”.' One can explore this question in the GSS. Let's look at ancestry group (e.g., German, French, etc.), religion, belief in God, political ideology, intelligence and education, for non-Hispanic whites. The data is limited to the 2000s, and I also constrained to those age 45 and up. Then I looked at the "CHILDS" variable, which asks the respondent how many children they have. Taking the mean of this value gives us a sense of the rank order in fertility. Note that this is not total fertility rate. That should be clear from the values being well above 2 in most cases. Additionally, I recombined some categories, so that "British" is the amalgamation of English, Scottish and Welsh ancestry. The "Irish" class almost certainly includes both Scotch-Irish (doing the regional and religious breakdown this seems obvious), and the Irish without modifiers. For intelligence I used "WORDSUM". The variables I input into the GSS can be found at the bottom of the post so you can replicate.

I believe much of the difference among white non-Hispanics by ancestry is caused by other variables. In particular, the low values for Italians is probably a function of their disproportionately urban residence patterns in comparison to German Americans. Other white ethnic groups (the sample sizes were smaller for these constraints) with a strong urban bias show the same pattern. To replicate, go to http://sda.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/hsda?harcsda+gss08. Under "Analysis" at the top left select "Comparison of Means." Dependent: CHILDS Row: WORDSUM(r:0-4"Low intelligence";5-7"Average intelligence";8-10"Above average intelligence") DEGREE GOD(r:1-2"Atheist and Agnostic";3"Higher Power";4-6"Believe in God") polviews(r:1-3"Liberal";4"Moderate";5-7"Conservative") RELIG ETHNIC(r:2,11"German";3,10"French";7,9,19,26"Nordic";14"Irish";15"Italian";8,24"British") German = Germany + Austria French = France + French Canadian Nordic = Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland British = Scottish, English and Welsh

Mean # of childrenN

Ancestry

German2.47911

French2.43169

Nordic2.22277

Irish2.36759

Italian2.18311

British2.261033

Intelligence

Low intelligence2.45287

Average intelligence2.391153

Above average intelligence2.19709

Highest educational attainment

Less than high school2.93720

High school2.372970

Junior college2.25412

Bachelor2.03952

Graduate1.93687

Political ideology

Liberal1.99954

Moderate2.371690

Conservative2.431855

Religious preference

Protestant2.393355

Catholic2.531342

Jewish1.83155

No religion1.78639

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