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Fertility

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Immigrants to Denmark come largely from the Muslim world, where fertility rates are converging to the European norm. In the future, most immigrants will come from sub-Saharan Africa, where the fertility decline has stalled and has actually reversed in some countries. (source) My last post dealt with Helmuth Nyborg’s study and the decision by the... Read More
Morten Østergaard, Danish Minister for Research, Innovation, and Higher Education. Morten, if you’re reading this post, please reply to my e-mail. I first learned about Danish psychologist Helmuth Nyborg while working on my doctoral thesis. In those pre-Internet days, I plodded my way through the academic literature largely by consulting the Science Citation Index and... Read More
Interior of a magasin général (source: photographiquement Frank). Wherever there was less competition from British or American merchants, it was easier for French Canadians to go into business. These same regions also have unusually high rates of neurological disorders, including Tay-Sachs. Coincidence? French Canadians have a unique demographic history. From a founding population of some... Read More
A Parsi woman in traditional costume, painted by Raja Ravi Varma (source) The Parsis are renowned for achievement in many areas of life—trade, education, philanthropy, and popular culture. Yet they number only about 100,000 in the entire world (Wikipedia, 2013). What qualities made them so successful? The most often-cited ones are their thrift, foresight, skillfulness,... Read More
Total fertility by race, 1980-2010 (source). Is the end of White America being hastened by the Obama presidency? Or is it actually being postponed? Both the right and the left are trumpeting the Obama presidency as marking the end of White America. In a harshly worded column, conservative Ann Coulter argues that Obama and the... Read More
Immigrants in the port of Patras, Greece (source). An immigrant community as large as three million people, in a country of eleven million. It was during the early 1970s—the time of the Colonels—that Greece began to receive large numbers of immigrants, mainly Africans recruited for insecure low-paying jobs in construction, agriculture, and shipping. In 1972,... Read More
Poster for multi-child families. Today, the average Greek woman has only 1.3 children. Although the Colonels failed to turn back the clock, they did slow it down. When they lost power, Greece was still fulfilling its mission of perpetuating the Greek people. In 1975, the fertility rate was 2.4 children per woman, in contrast to... Read More
Cartoon lampooning the traffic in mail-order brides (source). About 40% of married men in rural South Korea have wives of foreign origin. Until recently, South Korea had no ethnic minorities. Nor did it have a history of being a colonial power. While slavery did exist, the slaves were not from elsewhere. Today, however, the country... Read More
The ‘Hajnal line’ marks the eastern limit of a longstanding pattern of late and non-universal marriage. The line in red is Hajnal's. The dark blue lines show areas of high nuptiality West of the Hajnal line. Source In the 17th and 18th centuries, settlers emigrated from land-poor France to land-rich Canada. The result was a... Read More
Figurine of African American grandmother and child. Is teenage childbearing pathological? Anthropologist Linda Burton argues otherwise in her study of an African American community, and she cites other researchers who have come to similar conclusions: By viewing teenage childbearing as a reproductive strategy, with its own logic and life goals, we may better understand why... Read More
While birth rates fall everywhere else, sub-Saharan Africa remains an outlier of high fertility (2009). Throughout most of the world, the demographic transition has played out as predicted. Fertility rates have fallen to replacement level and even lower, first in Europe and North America and more recently in East Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East... Read More
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