The Boomers’ mothers wanted smaller families.

A great many women who had children from 1955-1964 wanted exactly two children, but due to contraceptive inefficacy compared to the Pill, they ended up with 3+.  And women who wanted large families of 6+ found themselves having around 5-6 with a suspiciously high frequency.

Long story short, even without the Pill, the desire for contracepting into a smaller family was already baked into the postwar cake for American women.  It’s not clear that large family desire is particularly common to American women when they aren’t part of an intensely religious subculture.  Frontier women had large family sizes, but this is confounded by the frontier being a hotbed of highly religious subcultures.

Now the story of how more education for women went from being strongly correlated with fewer kids to…not is a different story, mostly still unwritten by any demographic researcher.

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The differences between lefty and righty SAHMs.

Few of the former, but more of them in liberal zip codes among married parents.  More of the latter, but more likely to be mixed in heavily with double-income households.

There’s very few married parents at all in liberal/Democrat-heavy zip codes with high incomes, but the married mothers tend to be SAHMs to men making north of 150k/yr.  So liberal women who stay home with their kids have a tribe and a sense of place because in a major metro there may only be 5 or 10k of them, but they all literally are in the same neighborhoods and constantly could hang out together.

They also don’t shy away from things like hiring au pairs and babysitters while staying home.  Liberal married mothers are substantially more likely to be relaxed about individually choosing to get themselves the things they need as SAHMs, including paid childcare help and being sure to be married to a high-earning provider so they experience zero financial pressure to earn money.  There are lower-income SAHMs who skew liberal, but they tend to not live in the high-income urban zip codes and there’s even fewer of them.

Righty SAHMs, on the other hand, are far more common among married parents as a whole nationwide, but they tend to be scattered within a much bigger and income-diverse group of married parents in the areas they live in.  And they themselves are more likely to be income-diverse, though there’s still very few under 50k/yr.

Thus righty SAHMs are not wrong to feel isolated and odd duck-like.  In a major exurb commuting distance from a Big City, they may well be among 100k other married parents and even 30k or so of SAHMs (i.e., roughly the national-level split between double-income and SAHM households), but they probably only live near a few other SAHMs and they don’t have the homogeneous aspects the lefty SAHMs have.

What’s interesting is that I looked into the matter strictly to see if there was a pattern at all.  It’s one thing to say SAHMs are getting to be a higher and higher income proposition, it’s another to determine if there are political variations.  I didn’t expect to find what I found looking at major metros like Chicago, DC, Seattle or LA, among others.  I looked at Big Cities and outlying exurbs and suburbs in red and purple and blue states alike, and the basic “very few lefty-likely SAHMs, but mostly clustered together plus have top-quarter family incomes for their area” and “many more righty-likely SAHMs, but spanning the top 3 quartiles for their area and not concentrated in the highest one, not much clustering at all” holds up across a wide range of voting patterns.

The lady who lunches is fairly likely a Democrat these days, as is the SAHM with a nanny and two kids in tow.  Or the yoga mom who’s kept her figure after four kids.

But there’s very few of her.  Not many liberal women seem ready or willing to make those arrangements to have families.  And it is interesting to me that while liberal-leaning women want to have kids/form families at much lower rates than right-leaning women, they SAHM at really high rates.

 

Conventional down payments of 20% are no longer conventional.

About 1 in 5 home buyers put down 5% or less for a home purchase.  This used to be primarily FHA loans, but has slowly shifted to more and more conventional loans under 5%.  About as many people buy outright in cash, but this has a skew towards various combinations of older and foreign investors.

Until about 20 years ago, people were more likely on average to put down 20% or more.  Now they’re more and more likely to put down 5-10%, and some banks will do PMI-free loans at 15%.  So there’s increasingly little incentive to put down 20%.

The average home price is 200k, but the average mortgage is over 300k.  The average FHA mortgage is 190k, however.

In Elizabeth Warren’s book The Two-Income Trap, the home buyers are FHA-loan households.  Something to think about regarding the conclusions she draws in the book about debt and bankruptcy.

Boomers denied Gen X help and Gen X is shelling out on Millennials.

This is a note to self post to put up the relevant files when I have some actual free time, but it appears that the narrative around Boomers coddling Millennial children isn’t necessarily so.  It appears to mostly be older Gen Xers and not that many younger Boomers paying 20something rents and bills and backstopping their kids financially into advanced ages.  Boomers (and Silents) heavily and overtly didn’t support the oldest Gen Xers and the very youngest Boomers.

So now the cohorts that didn’t get much support and did work and school together now pay their kids to not work and focus only on school, which under current trends isn’t adding up to stronger earnings patterns or career trajectories, as would have been predicted by models around education completion.

The expensive state of all parenthood in 2018.

This is an extension of the previous post that limited itself to the majority of children, who are, in America, born into married couple households.  But the basic pattern of increase remains even when all family structures for children under 18 are considered.

  • Over half (~52%) of all children under 18 are in households earning $75,000 or more per year.
  • Nearly 4 in 10 are in households earning $100,000 or more per year.
  • Roughly 3  in 10 are in households earning $10,000/month or more.

The expensive state of married parenthood in 2018.

  • 40% of married parents had 10k/month or higher household incomes.
  • 51% had incomes of 100k/yr or higher.
  • 67% had incomes of 75k/yr or higher.
  • Less than 18% had incomes below 50k/yr.

The distribution shifted further upward since 2017, with the percentage of married parent households earning 50k or less shrinking nearly 10%, which was a big contributor to that 51% above 100k milestone number.

Births by education level, 2016

 

(click to expand)

What is interesting about this is that education aids in married fertility, but a little goes a long way.  Completing a level of education corresponds to lower out of wedlock birth rate regardless of how high the level of education is.

Thus in a lot of ways, simply having people complete the highest level they reasonably can of education would be a better way to structure the educational system and allow for more options to enter the workforce successfully at younger ages.  This would probably have a side effect of increasing marriage before 25 in a way that favored long-term marital stability.