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.

The black teen pregnancy rate dropped nearly 50% in 5 years.

In 2010 it was just over 15% of all (non-Hispanic) black births. By 2015, the most recent complete data available, it was 8.6%.

There are several reasons this could be the case. It could be people leaving high-crime urban areas, which are where the bulk of black teen pregnancy is concentrated. It could be part of the increase in older, more educated foreign-born and second-generation non-Hispanic black immigrant mothers making up a bigger share of black births. It could be both, or some other factors. It’s not an increase in abortions, though.

For perspective, here’s a chart with rough estimates since 1970 and percent changes.

% teen pregnancy % change
1970 31 N/A
1975 33 2
1980 26.5 -6.5
1985 23 -3
1990 23 0
1995 23 0
2000 21.5 -1.5
2005 17 -4.5
2010 15.2 -1.8
2015 8.6 -6.6

The 1970s were pretty bad, as were the 1980s, but the last decade has seen a significant and major turnaround in teen pregnancy.  Teen pregnancy for black Americans specifically is particularly “bad” because it’s skewed unmarried for much longer than was the case with white teen pregnancies, starting with under 15 pregnancies being mostly unmarried ones in the 1950s when that wasn’t the case with white pregnancies under 15.  In 1966, not long after the famous Moynihan Report, black teen pregnancies to mothers aged 15-19 crossed 50% unmarried.

Through the 1960s and 1970s, teen pregnancy became completely decoupled from marriage for black teen mothers and heavily decoupled for black mothers in their early 20s, culminating in 1978.  Five years after Roe V. Wade, black births to mothers in their early 20s were now majority unwed and teen births were 80-97% unwed, depending on age.  However, teen births were only about 25% of total births, during the 1960s.  The table shows how things shifted after the collapse in married black motherhood during the 1970s and 1980s.

All birth data used for rough percentages comes from Monthly Vital Statistics Reports or National Vital Statistics Reports.

Total births to “college moms” more than doubled from 1970 to 2015

That’s the case for white, non-Hispanic ones.

In 1970 there were about 3 million white births, of which 400k or so were Hispanic probably (the number has to be inferred because “all other” was around 500k and included Asians). There were something like 600k or 700k college mom births then to non-Hispanic white mothers. About 500k from reporting states and again, the rest is an estimate from non-reporting states.

There are still about 3 million white births these days (2015), but about a million of them are Hispanic ethnic groups who identify as white racially. Of the remaining two million non-Hispanic white births, about 1.5 million come from college moms.

So non-Hispanic white moms went from producing about 2.5 million births in 1970 to producing about 2 million births 45 years later. But college moms went from a modest but decisive minority of births to a supermajority in about 2 generations. And non-college moms have steadily been foregoing childbirth at all.

What’s fascinating about this is that college is mildly natal for white non-Hispanic women, since they’re the ones having more and more rather than fewer and fewer raw births. College mom fertility is fairly stable, with 15-25% childless rates being offset by the remaining women having 2-4 kids to generate a pretty reliable almost-2 kids for the group “college women”.

For BAs and up, the births quadrupled in that timeframe, outpacing the general trend of simply attending and completing college at higher rates. While there is higher attendance among women these days, the proportion of births born to college moms (completing or not) is higher than that baseline.

Apparently Unspeakable

Over at Thermidor, Nick B. Steves and PT Carlo sit down “to discuss the economic and social difficulties of family formation and patriarchy in the modern West.”  Guess how much time is spent on actual problems couples with multiple young children encounter and win a prize.




If you guessed zero minutes and zero seconds, congratulations. You win a sense of dull resignation to the fact that these people just aren’t serious.

The IT Ghost Dance Is Ending

Your hostess here at The Practical Conservative has likened belief in endlessly available  IT jobs to the Native American Ghost Dance movement.  Taking the metaphor a step further, Cloud Computing is the Hotchkiss Gun and the  IT Ghost Dancers are about to experience their very own massacre at Wounded Knee.

Companies are moving to Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure at a breakneck pace and they’re doing it to avoid having to spend money on IT operations.  Americans with computer janitor jobs like sysadmin, DBA and network administrator are in the same place the Warsaw Pact’s teachers of Marxist-Leninism were in 1985.  It may seem like a great field now, but give it a few years.

To repeat one of the themes of this site, a way of life isn’t sustainable unless your grandchildren will be both willing and able to live it.