The federal government last week came out with its latest numbers on out-of-wedlock birthrates, by race and ethnicity. Nothing new or surprising, but disturbing and depressing nonetheless.
The preliminary data for 2015 show 40.2 percent of all births were out of wedlock, and there are very big disparities among the different racial and ethnic groups. Highest are non-Hispanic blacks at 70.4 percent, followed by American Indians/Alaska Natives at 65.8 percent, and Hispanics at 52.9 percent. Somewhat better are non-Hispanic whites at 29.2 percent, with the lowest figures by Asians/Pacific Islanders at 16.4 percent.
That’s a big range — from 70.4 to 16.4 — and as is often noted there is an obvious fit between how well a group is doing by any social indicator you like (education, crime, employment, poverty, you name it) and how many children are being born into two-parent families. This is true, by the way, not only across different racial and ethnic groups but also within them.
Racism is a bad thing, and it still exists, but only the delusional think it is anything like the problem it was 50 years ago. No, the principal impediment for those who would like to narrow our ongoing racial disparities is not racism, but the “70.4 percent” figure above.