Also, a commenter points out that a non-significant number of Hindu men in the US have spouses that are living back home. So the 71% of Hindus in the US who are married to other Hindus could theoretically be comprised of the 61% of the total Hindu population in the US that is male, with five out of six of them married to a spouse living overseas, and only one-third of Hindu women married to other Hindus. But 86% of Hindus surveyed were foreign-born, and over 90% of people of Indian descent (both genders) in the US have spouses that are also Indian. So the pickings are still slim, but maybe not that slim. And as Agnostic points out (via Razib), beyond the first generation, Indian women are not averse to marrying white men. The Manjula reference holds, since she was born and raised in India, although I didn't initially think it through with that in mind!
Pew Research just released a demographic report on religious affiliation in America. Due to a law passed in the mid-seventies, the US Census is unable to mandate information concerning religion be volunteered by the population. Consequently, much of the data available come from religious organizations themselves. That leads to a lot of apples-to-oranges comparisons and an incomplete picture.
What immediately caught my eye, in light of the surge of attention given to Mormonism, is how its adherents are both moderately affluent and fecund. I used 20 of Pew's classifications to build a self-contained linear equation predicting what percentage of each categories' population 'should' have three or more kids living with them.
The equation was created by running a regression on the percentage of each group earning $50,000 or more per year and the percentage of each group with 3 or more kids under the age of 18 currently living at home, adjusting the 3+ kids percentages for the portion of each group aged 65 and older (I presumed no one in this age group had any children living at home under the age of 18 and removed them from the 3+ kids percentages to avoid an age skewing as much as possible). The two variables inversely correlate at a firm .44. That is, by religious affiliation, as income increases, the number of children decreases.
Included are the sub-category figures for Protestants, Jews, "Other faiths", and "Unaffiliated" (but not their parent categories, to avoid double-counting); for Mormons I did not distinguish between LDS and the other 4% of the total Mormon population (which must largely be made up of Community of Christ Mormons*); I broke the Orthodox categories into non-Greek Orthodox and Greek Orthodox. That sounds jumbled, but take a quick look at the categories here and it'll make sense.
Then I compared the predicted and actual percentages of 3+ kid households by subtracting the predicted from the actual. So if, based on level of affluence, 10% of the Catholic population is 'expected' to have 3 or more children at home, but in actuality 15% of the population does, the Catholic population has a +5 propagation 'score'. They do more procreating than would be expected for how much money they make. The propagation scores:
|4. Jewish (Reform)||2.0|
|5. Religious (Unaffiliated)||1.4|
|6. Other Christian||0.9|
|7. Greek Orthodox||0.6|
|8. Protestant (Evangelical)||0.5|
|9. Jehovah's Witness||(0.1)|
|10. Jewish (Conservative)||(0.3)|
|11. Protestant (Mainline)||(0.9)|
|12. Protestant (Hist. Black)||(1.2)|
|15. Non-Greek Orthodox||(2.7)|
|17. Secular (Unaffiliated)||(3.8)|
|19. Unitarian/other liberal||(4.9)|
|20. New Age||(5.1)|
Asked in a mock debate awhile back why Christian conservatives should vote for the Mormon Mitt Romney, Jack Cashill, playing the former governor, cleverly launched into how all-American (that is, GOP stalwarts) Mormons are: They're socially conservative, baby-making married members of the middle class and they vote overwhelmingly Republican, so why worry about their theology when you're getting those kinds of results?
Pew didn't inquire about actual income figures, just ranges, so to say that Mormons are the most fruitful when income is controlled for is to make a precise assertion that isn't justified by the numbers available. Also, the use of a linear equation means the range of expected percentages are narrower than the range of actual percentages are. Thus, Mormons, a fourth of whom under the age of 65 have three or more kids living at home, are moderate outliers and so stand out with the highest score by a long shot.
Further, I removed the 65+ population of each group, reasonably assuming that the vast majority of them do not have children living at home. But I couldn't make an age adjustment for income without more complete data on all of the individuals surveyed. Since people between the ages of 18-64 have considerably higher average incomes than people 65 and older do, the relatively elderly groups--Reform Jews, Conservative Jews, and Greek Orthodox, specifically--actually appear less wealthy than they actually are (even though they are the highest, third highest, and fourth highest groups of the twenty, respectively, in terms of income!) and so are 'expected' to have more children than would likely be the case if income was adjusted to account for age.
That said, I suspect that if income and age were controlled for, the fecundity rankings (the scores, again, are the product of a linear regression based on data entirely from the categories represented--the rank order is more meaningful) would pretty closely resemble the table presented above.
This suggests something that comes as little surprise--traditional religious groups do a better job spreading their genes than religiously progressive and irreligious groups (I'm including most American Buddhists here, over half of whom are white) do, even when income is roughly adjusted for.
Some other points of interest:
- The Hindu and Jewish income distributions are very similar. Together, they comprise an affluent 2% of the US population!
- Buddhists are less likely than members of the general public to make under $50,000 a year (44% to 53%) and more likely than members of the general public to make over $75,000 a year (39% to 31%). I hear Dave Matthews mixing it up a little, singing "What I want is what I've not got, but what I have is what I say I don't want!"
- Subjected to a fairly religious upbringing, in common parlance I've often heard "atheists and agnostics" grouped together as a single entity representing the non-believer, as though they're the same thing. The 'opposition' usually looks less diverse than the 'coalition' does, whether its religious beliefs or any other arena in which groups compete. I've been surprised on more than one occasion during the election season by politically active friends on the left (as most of mine are) who saw the Republican field as largely indistinguishable (with the exception of McCain and Paul to some extent). This surprise, in spite of how, with the exception of Biden and Kucinich, the Democratic crop seemed like a gaggle of doppelgangers to me!
Well, A&As are strikingly similar with regards to the major demographic markers: In terms of income levels, educational attainment, race (mostly white, although Asians are overrepresented), age, geographical distribution, marital status, and the number of children at home, gender (eep, don't say anything about the pious being pinheads now, as there are twice as many male A&As as there are female A&As!), etc. That is, on every single attribute Pew examined, atheists and agnostics are virtually identical in their distributions (with the minor qualifications that agnostics are a bit more likely to be boomers than atheists are, 22%-16%, and are slightly less likely to be male than atheists are, 64%-70%).
- The Reformed Jewish population has more children across the board than the Conservative Jewish population does, with the exception of 4+ children families--a category that represents only 1% of the Reformed and 2% of the Conservative populations. That certainly surprises me. Is it just orthodox Hasidic Jews, then, who tend to have large immediate families?
- Hispanics make up almost one-third of American Catholics, even though they only comprise 12% of the population. They make up single-digit percentages of all the other major religious affiliations with one exception--Jehovah's Witnesses. Twenty-four percent The Watchtower people are Hispanic. I had no idea.
- If you want to marry Manjula but won't worship Vishnu, you're just about out of luck. Excepting A&As, Hindus are the most gender-skewed group, with a 61%-39% male advantage. Hindus have the highest marriage rate of all (79%), as well as the highest rate of marriage to someone who shares their religious affiliation (90% of those who are married). Thus, 71% of Hindus aged 18 or older are married to other Hindus.
For that 71% to be reached, 35%-36% of the total Hindu population must be comprised of Hindu males married to Hindu females and conversely another 35%-36% of the total Hindu population must be comprised of Hindu females married to Hindu males. That means 3%-4% of the total Hindu population consists of Hindu women either married to non-Hindus or still on the market. Slim pickings!
* The CoC is headquartered in the eastern part of the Kansas City metro area. Theologically, it is closer to mainline Protestantism than the Church of LDS is.