Native black Americans have become like Native Americans.

A back of the old envelope shows that once you’ve accounted for first generation foreign-born mothers and mothers who had children with non-black fathers and label them black, from the maternal side at least, married non-Hispanic black birth is about 50-60% native-born.  This means that the 80%+ unwed numbers I’ve seen thrown around in some black parts of the interwebs have some anchor in reality.  That is in fact pretty close to the native-black unmarried birth percentage.   Immigrants have a 40% out of wedlock birth rate, which necessarily means the non-immigrant out of wedlock birth rate must be higher than 70%.  Hispanic black birth is 65% or so unmarried, and so doesn’t shift the native rate that much.

Without the substantial and parallel increases in outmarriage and immigration keeping births relatively stable year to year, the native-born black TFR is somewhere down in the dumps like the Native American one, about 1.4 or 1.5.

This explains a lot.

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17 thoughts on “Native black Americans have become like Native Americans.

    • Just a lot of the social dynamics. Married childbearing for black people in America is functionally something not done by historical-American black people anymore, and because the immigrants have immigrant vigor, it’s easy for some groups to just not see the demographic changes since it’s led to more college-attending and higher incomes for black families. The married black couple with young kids really does have almost no income gap with an equivalent white married couple with kids.

      Free love was very devastating for black America, and immigration pretty much kept “black” population numbers from possibly going backwards. And they came in and worked hard to benefit from reduced race prejudice and more good-job access.

      It means the future will be pretty interesting, since immigrants don’t have historical-American culture. They have their own cultures, and they’re not far from a tipping point.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. And yet, everybody has their favourite anecdote of the black single mother with “several” children and “several” fathers.

    OTOH, for every ghetto stereotype, there’s somebody’s childless aunt and uncle that lives rather quietly.

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    • DA said:

      “And yet, everybody has their favourite anecdote of the black single mother with “several” children and “several” fathers.”

      That may have been mostly an 80s thing. People don’t notice when things go away. (Take, for example, people who talk about cell phones not being necessary, not noticing that public telephones are a thing of the past.)

      I remember being a little third grader (this would have been early 80s) and chatting with a chum who was from an American Indian family–that being the primary minority in our area at the time. She was telling me how there were 5 children in her family and all 5 had different fathers. It was just a fun fact about their family.

      Similarly, I once heard a very awkward exchange between a teenage American Indian girl and a nice white lady teacher. The girl was talking about how she’s 15 and her mom had her by that age. The nice white lady teacher said something like, “You’re doing really good, then!”

      So, I am surprised to hear that the American Indian demographics are changing so much (things used to be VERY different)–but it may reflect the same pressures that are affecting black demographics.

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  2. Some possibilities:

    –Previous generations of single (and married) parents could lean more on functional grandparents and extended family, whereas current single (and married) parents can’t as much, which suppresses fertility.
    –Parenting is hard for married parents, but harder for unmarried parents, which suppresses fertility.

    I’d throw in an additional parallel from when I lived in Russia in the mid/late 90s and from emigre friends. I have known a lot of high-functioning divorced middle class Russian single mothers over the years BUT, they always only had one child, often the product of a short early marriage. Two child families were the product of married parents. There was also a lot of divorce and remarriage, with older divorced mothers being deemed a better prospect than a never-married childless woman the same age. (There was one weird single mother that was a host mom of some Americans I knew and had seven or so kids, but that was freakish in that cultural context, and she was not mother of the year.)

    Other parallels are that in Russia there was often a resident (or very nearby) grandma and a lot of abortion. (I believe there’s a lot less abortion now, as actual birth control has become available.)

    I’m a little out of touch with current Russian social realities, so I don’t know how much family configuration has changed since then, but I believe that age at first marriage has shot up (Wikipedia says almost 25 for women).

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    • It was mostly “free love” (creepy old guys getting teenage girls pregnant) and back to back drug epidemics (heroin followed by freebase cocaine followed by crack). Teen pregnancy was always a problem, but once 16yo black girls couldn’t get married right after getting pregnant at 15, things went from bad to worst. When the dust cleared in the early 90s, it was a sea of wreckage. Birth control/abortion and welfare didn’t have as much impact, since most of the patterns were formed before those were fully accessible by black women.

      It’s been memoryholed, but the whole “morality is just an eight letter word” of the 60s and particularly the 70s got super ugly in terms of abuse of young girls leading to pregnancy. It just hit the black community more brutally because it came on the heels of rapid urbanization and a social structure that was more fragile in terms of enforcing monogamy and marriage under the anonymous conditions of the cities.

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      • TPC said:

        “It’s been memoryholed, but the whole “morality is just an eight letter word” of the 60s and particularly the 70s got super ugly in terms of abuse of young girls leading to pregnancy.”

        Adam Carolla had a big podcast featuring 1970s jailbait songs. I have the kiddies around right now so I’m not going to play it, but I remember it being a real eye-opener. I believe this is it:

        People forget exactly how terrible the 1970s were.

        Late 1960s/1970s movies also are a lot more rape-friendly than other eras. See, for example, High Plains Drifter.

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      • “It’s been memoryholed, but the whole “morality is just an eight letter word” of the 60s and particularly the 70s got super ugly in terms of abuse of young girls leading to pregnancy.”

        Which is another reason why “free range parenting” gets the side-eye.

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      • It just hit the black community more brutally because it came on the heels of rapid urbanization and a social structure that was more fragile in terms of enforcing monogamy and marriage under the anonymous conditions of the cities.

        FWIW, that’s been my pet theory for some time as to why the black community “collapsed”, but I’d add in the weird employment issues for black men along with our terrible welfare policy as playing a role.

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    • Hey, I just left Russia in 2013! Как дела? Yes, it was as you said. All my friends who lived with just their mothers were only kids. Me, my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother had early first marriages that ended in divorce, for three of us without kids, but great-grandmother had a son who got adopted by her next husband. A divorced woman was mildly shamed with the term “разведенка”, but was definitely higher status than an old maid. Abortion rate used to be higher than birth rate and now is very different by region but everywhere lower than it. Only 21 abortions per 100 births in rich and sexually decadent Moscow, that really tells us it’s affordability of contraception.

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      • Normal’no. Ya uchilas’ v Sankt Peterburge v 1994-om godu i potom uchila angliiskii yazyk na Dal’nem Vostoke (okola Vladivostoka) dva goda, nachinaia v 1995-om godu. Ya rabotala v amerikanskom Korpuse Mira (do togo kak Rossiiskoe gosudarstvo vygnalo Korpus Mira uz Rossii). (Sorry, long time, no Russian.)

        US manosphere guys are often very weird about Eastern European and Russian women, assuming that US women are uniquely horrible and that Eastern European or Russian women are goddesses, untouched by feminist original sin. I suppose the visuals are good and Eastern European and Russian women are (on average) domestic and competent at home (and there are vast numbers of educated, cultured Russian women)–but there are a lot of structural issues with Russian family life. Russian women are so used to going it alone (especially with just one child) that divorce or single motherhood just isn’t as horrifying to a middle class Russian mother as it would be to a white American woman of the same class. (Or at least that’s how it was in the 1990s.)

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        • and that Eastern European or Russian women are goddesses, untouched by feminist original sin

          I suspect this season’s episodes of 90 Days and Counting would disprove some of that given the attention given to a so-called MRA and his broken marriage to a superficial and money obsessed Russian immigrant that he’s finally starting to suspect only married him for his fake displays of wealth.

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