The Corner

Culture

‘Percentage of Births to Unmarried Women’

Besides which country you are born in, in my view the most important factor by far in explaining disparities in all manner of life outcomes (poverty, unemployment, crime, education, you name it) is whether you were born out-of-wedlock. And since Americans are very interested in racial disparities, from time to time I post the federal government’s latest data on this topic.

Late last year, the final data for 2018 were published here (the key is Table 9 on page 25), and here’s what we learn: For all racial and ethnic groups combined, 39.6 percent of births were out-of-wedlock (incidentally, isn’t that appalling?). And there was as always a tremendous range among groups (these never vary by more than a percentage point or two each year, by the way). For blacks, the number is 69.4 percent; for American Indians/Alaska Natives, 68.2 percent (Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders were at 50.4 percent); for Hispanics, 51.8 percent; for whites, 28.2 percent; and for Asian Americans, a paltry 11.7 percent.

So, we go from seven out of ten for African Americans, to one out of ten for Asian Americans; from a little less than three out of ten for whites, to a little more than five out of ten for Hispanics. As I say, a huge range, and one that more than anything else seems to fit quite precisely with how well the different groups are doing on whatever success metric you want to use. But rather than encourage people to wait until they are married before having children — which is perceived by the Left as too religious and patriarchal — it’s much easier to talk about “institutionalized racism” and “white privilege” and “mass incarceration” and “implicit bias” and 1619, isn’t it?

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