40% of women giving birth in 2016 used WIC.

The data brief is here.

Has some interesting info.  Is a pdf, but a small one. Might do more about it later but spent half the day in the woods, so I’m pretty tired.

 

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What is the birth dearth worth?

The latest provisional birth data is out and the results are an ongoing decline in total births at all but the oldest ages (mostly 40+, which is barely any of the total babies).

I have no idea when I can get around to it in more detail but Gen X (my “generation”) beat the spread and had more babies than their initial TFR predicted, which is pretty interesting.  Also cohort analysis shows some specific cohorts within Gen X and older-Millennial are having more higher-order births (3, 4, 5th, etc) than  their fellow cohort-sisters.

So on the one hand a few small groups that someone eventually should look at more closely are having more children than expected.  On the other hand, the big-picture of fertility is ongoing declines in baby-having at every stage of fertile-life.

So what is this ongoing decline in new life worth?  What is it worth to the ever-shrinking  pool of married parents?  And what’s making a handful of people double down and have marginal additional children at all?

 

“All states experienced an increase in the percentage of interracial and interethnic married-couple households from 2000 to 2012-2016.”

“The percentage of married-couple households that are interracial or interethnic grew across the United States from 7.4 to 10.2 percent from 2000 to 2012-2016.”

From interracial marriage reporting from the Census Bureau.

ETA an interesting note from a working paper about health status in interracial relationships. “Having a White partner is associated with higher self-rated health for Hispanic, Black, and Asian men and women, relative to having a partner of one’s own race/ethnicity. For White women, but not for White men, having a non-White partner is associated with worse self-rated health. ”

 

Everyone’s a little bit right.

In terms of historical American norms, it’s been normal to Do It All at an upper-middle level, it’s been normal to have (white OR black, native-born OR immigrant) domestic help to do it, it’s been normal to be a college mom, it’s been normal to not be one.  The difficulty is that these groups of women have been co-existing every step of the way. So teasing out how to take the good and ditch the bad from our ancestresses is a delicate and sticky business.

In Dune, 3% was the critical-mass number to terraform Arrakis into a human-friendly planet instead of a total-desert one.  That’s often about the right number for tails to wag social-norm dogs in American society, too.

Stay at home mother is a gift from 1970s feminists.

The story of the transformation of the”housewife” into the “stay at home mother” providing “mother-care, not DAYCARE” in American society in the wake of the Pill and Roe v. Wade is an interesting one and there’s not much information on the internet about it because the idea that there was a transition (and that this transition destroyed a substantial amount of soft power among married women) is not compatible with either right wing or left wing narratives about the topic.

We didn’t really have the term before motherhood could be conceivably viewed as entirely intentional/optional, even within marriage.  And nobody seems to ask why it bloomed so suddenly and took over, when by its nature it explicitly separates motherhood from marriage, while housewife emphasizes, well, property benefits of marriage for women foremost.  Homemaker, it’s worth noting, has begun to turn up as a transition away from stay at home mother, but it lacks that wilful connecting of property with marriage and in fact shifts the domestic world to something a woman must make/build, rather than something she is inherently part of and maintaining/managing.

Since this is just thinky thoughts, I will close with the little data point that over half of American SAHMs use center-based daycare for children aged 0-4 and that we hit that point about 10 years ago and this is in every region of the country, not concentrated in one place, it’s about half everywhere.  Employed or not, it’s 80% for BA or higher-possessing mothers.

Prediction: black SAHMs in the US will double before SAHDs

The stay at home dad revolution will not be youtube streamed or, like, happen.  Living where you actually run into them makes me solidly bearish on this.

Married black women, on the other hand, have experienced a pretty major demographic shift and it’s much more likely they’ll go from their current 5% SAHM to 10% SAHM.

Ancillary prediction is that nobody will be blowing up blue checkmark twitter or mainstream media about how great this is for feminism/black people/motherhood.

Trump baby bump states

Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont (or is this a Bernie baby bump?), Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

Birth records are from provisional data for 2017 from the CDC.  The criteria I used was looking at births from August 2017 to December 2017 (that would have been conceived from November 2016 to March 2017) and the states above had at least two consecutive 2017 months where the births were higher than the same months in 2016.

Only Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia had three consecutive months of increased births compared to the prior year.  And only Tennessee and North Carolina had four consecutive months of increased births.

I’ve seen people claiming there is one, so I looked into it and the answer is a solid maybe, I guess?