Friday, May 12, 2006

Trend Cop: What's Behind the Surprising Growth of the Traditional American Family?

That is the question posed by the cover story in the May 12 issue of Life magazine, now a newspaper insert. Depicted on the cover is a family of three, the Fergusons, just one of a growing number of families, according to the article, with three and even four children.

"There are many theories about why this is happening, all waiting for firm statistical support," says the article. 

But the explanation for the increase in third-and-higher order births is not a mystery. One word explains it: Hispanics. The Garcias, rather than the Fergusons, should have been on the cover of Life magazine.

Now for the statistical support. Between 2000 and 2004, the number of third-order births to Hispanics grew by 32,000. At the same time, the number of third-order births to non-Hispanic whites FELL by 8,000. Between 2000 and 2004, the number of fourth-or-higher order births to Hispanics climbed by 22,000. The number to non-Hispanic whites grew by just 1,000.

"Three is the new two" is the rallying cry for the "new mini-baby boom" says Life magazine. But the evidence shows two is still the norm. The average number of children an American woman will have in her lifetime, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, stands at an even 2.0. Among the Fergusons and other non-Hispanic whites, it is a smaller 1.9. But for the Garcias and other Hispanics, it is a larger 2.8 and an even 3.0 for Hispanics of Mexican origin. Three is the norm for Hispanics, and Hispanics are driving trends in U.S. births. Mystery solved.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I find some information here.