Tuesday, April 22, 2014

White life; birth-to-death by state

An adept commenter pointed me in the right direction, allowing for the creation of a non-Hispanic white (hereafter simply "white") vitality index by state based on CDC data (the site's interface takes a bit to get the hang of, but the filtering capabilities and consequent exacting outputs are great). It gives an indication of the increase (or contraction) of the nation's native white population.

The index is computed by taking a state's annual number of white births, subtracting from it the number of white deaths, dividing that figure by the state's total white population, and multiplying the result four orders of magnitude for ease of comprehension. That is, the larger the number, the higher the births-to-deaths ratio is. Negative values indicate more deaths than births. All data are from 2010:

1. Utah123.4
2. Alaska76.9
3. District of Columbia72.3
4. Hawaii60.2
5. Idaho 57.9
6. Wyoming39.6
7. Colorado38.4
8. South Dakota36.3
9. Nebraska32.9
10. Kansas32.5
11. North Dakota30.9
12. Minnesota29.8
13. Virginia28.9
14. Indiana24.5
15. Washington23.8
16. Montana20.6
17. Iowa20.5
18. Kentucky19.9
19. Texas19.7
20. Missouri18.9
21. Louisiana17.7
22. Georgia16.5
23. Wisconsin14.8
24. North Carolina12.2
25. Illinois12.1
26. New Hampshire11.9
27. Oklahoma11.7
28. Maryland11.3
29. Ohio10.5
30. South Carolina10.4
31. Vermont10.0
32. Michigan8.1
33. New York7.6
34. Tennessee6.6
35. Arkansas6.0
36. Oregon5.6
37. Arizona5.3
38. Mississippi4.1
39. Delaware2.1
40. Massachusetts1.5
41. Nevada(1.0)
42. Alabama(2.4)
43. Maine(4.3)
44. California(6.6)
45. West Virginia(7.8)
46. New Jersey(8.5)
47. Pennsylvania(8.8)
48. Connecticut(12.1)
49. New Mexico(16.9)
50. Rhode Island(23.3)
51. Florida(32.9)

Here is an accompanying visualization showing the states with the most vitality in bright green, through teal, to turquoise, through lighter blue, and finally with the most enervated states a deep blue hue:

Keep in mind this doesn't take into account interstate migration. A lot of blue hairs who can afford to do so opt to move to Florida to live out their golden years. Many stay through the gloam until their suns finally set. Alternatively, an urban spot like DC attracts a lot of relatively young people who will ultimately leave the place for somewhere more bucolic down the road.

It shouldn't come as much of a surprise to see Utah in the #1 spot by a long shot. Mormons are the living embodiment of the classic 1950s American dream. Moribund they most certainly are not.

Generalizing, the upper Midwest, northern mountain, and frontier states are relatively vivacious; the Northeast, Southwest, and--perhaps most surprisingly given that the region is characterized by warm weather, low living costs and modest population densities, religiosity, and political conservatism--the South are relatively feeble.

Parenthetically, the 2010 CDC data shows white births slightly outnumbering white deaths (2.16 million and 1.97 million, respectively). That explains part of the reason that most states have positive white vitality index scores, but it's also an artifact born out of the fact that many of the country's most populous states like California, New Jersey, and Florida are at the bottom of the list.


Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to see how the white vitality index correlates with white voting behavior in the last presidential election or with political affiliation in general.

Audacious Epigone said...

There isn't much of one to speak of. The correlation is .07 with a p-value of .60, indicating almost no relationship at all. Surprising given the well established correlation between fecundity and political conservatism (religiosity, actually, which in turn is a proxy for conservatism).

MiddleMapKid said...

The west minus the SWPL coast and the midlands constitute America's new core.


Another Dad said...


I don’t really think this cuts the mustard for “white vitality”.

Basically it sinks because of the interstate migration problem you mention. (Heck wife and I are already considering buying a home in Florida. We’re already in a no-income tax state, but Florida also has no estate tax which our state does. So we may well set up shop there for the winter weather and it being a great place to die.)

More specifically … we don’t care about the white death rate at all. Everyone’s going to die—period. The white problem is not deaths, it’s births.

I’d suggest “white vitality” is something like:

--> white fertility (against white 15-45 female pop, not white population)
This is the most important metric. Captures if this is a declinist state or fertile state.

--> white births currently against past year(s) (say 1960, 1980, 2000)
Captures the out-migration of young people. (Again I don’t care if people head south to die, but young people leaving like is happening in the upper Midwest—for instance my parent’s home state of Iowa—is a problem even if white fertility there is respectable. It also tends to correlate with dysgenic white fertility.)

--> ratio of births to white women versus minorities, versus past years ratio
In other words is the state staying white … or is it becoming more “vibrant”.
For instance Utah does very well on white fertility, it’s a quite healthy place in terms of forming families. Mormon women are constrained and encouraged to natural healthy female behavior—motherhood—and not allowed to act on all there hypergamy and craziness. *But* the Mormon church is full on universalist, welcome all comers crazy. The state has great white fertility but is rapidly … browning.

--> ratio of white children from white mothers
White mothers having *white* children is what matters. I think in general this probably isn’t affecting the state rankings much. But there’s no doubt some variance. And white mothers having vibrant children is a sign of white collapse not vitality.


I’d expect Utah to be on top because they’ve kept up white fertility and that’s the most important variable. But states where they’ve maintained whiteness … and still have something like replacement fertility—Wyoming and Montana come to mind—seem like pretty vital places to me. However, I admit that even those places are only at\near replacement. I’d like to see Utah like fertility for them to really be “vital”.

Anonymous said...

I can't wrap my head around what the number really represents.

Could you talk about West Virginia? I was surprised at the position of WV-a state that is something like 94% white.

Just not alot of births there? Are young folks all leaving, or something?

Audacious Epigone said...

Another Dad,

Valid points, all. Thanks.

Don't get too caught up on the arbitrary naming though--it shows what it is described as showing to be interpreted as it will be interpreted.

The single best measure would probably be total white female fertility, but with interstate migration that's hard to get a handle on.


Both. More whites are leaving West Virginia than are coming into the state, especially among the young. It's a heavily white state, but it's also a state whose influence is declining on just about every dimension a term as broad as "influence" can be used to describe.

Sam said...

I'm always curious where the definition of "white" comes from, and who's counting. The Feds require self-identification on lines 10A (Hispanic or Latino/Not) and 10B (White, etc) of a form 4473 (Firearms Transfer) and probably other forms including the census, but the responses are irrelevant and people often self-identify in jest or in protest to such stupid questions.