Social Statics

Bleg for the crowd:

Sources, Statistics and/or time-series Charts, preferably for as many nations as possible, and preferably disaggregated by ethnicity, income, education, etc. showing:

Percentage of 18-year olds who were raised from birth by both both biological parents, who were married to each other the whole time.

My guess is that by 1964, the figure for American white baby-boomers was probably near 90%.  It’s a lot lower now, I’m not sure how much lower.  My impression is that for blacks in 2013, we’re talking about less than 10%, perhaps a lot less.

I think this figure is more enlightening that the ‘divorce rate’ for the unfortunate reason that many single mothers never got married and thus couldn’t ever divorce.

Any help or pointers are greatly appreciated.

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19 Responses to Social Statics

  1. jamesd127 says:

    This value is so horrifying that governments do not want it, making it hard to obtain.

    • Handle says:

      What name should we assign to this metric?

      • spandrell says:

        The Bastard rate, evidently.

        • jamesd127 says:

          Correct name is the bastardy rate.

          Though, in an age when divorce was rare, bastardy meant born out of wedlock, rather than born to a union swiftly and immorally dissolved.

          Since no one wants to know it, it is something very bad, and the name should reflect that.

          • Handle says:

            1. I was thinking of measuring the propensity of the ‘ideal’, so I’m looking for a positive-valence term.

            2. Bastardy is a component of the inverse of the ideal, certainly, but it’s not the only one, which is why I wouldn’t want to use that name, even as an inverse. I would want to distinguish divorce and also remarriage. There are also other categories. For example, there are orphans, or half-orphans who lose a biological parent to untimely death, etc. My own children, who are not bastards, would nevertheless not meet the ‘ideal’ metric as I have posed it, so I think you can understand why I would refrain from using “Bastardy” to describe it overall.

  2. Dan says:

    I have never seen a statistic,
    “18-year olds who were raised from birth by both both biological parents, who were married to each other the whole time”

    I suspects that whoever creates this statistic will be the first.

    You could probably come reasonably close to it by seeing what 18 year olds live with both parents. It is unlikely that both parents are around at age 18 if they weren’t together when the child was little.

    My Austrian cousin and her husband were together but not married when their two kids were born. She didn’t want to wear a wedding dress whilst pregnant and she wanted a really nice wedding, which she had when they were little. Their two kids are in high school now and they will almost certainly grow old together. Technically the kids are bastards, but they have always had their two parents, she was always a stay at home mom, he is a banker, they have a house which I envy and their kids are polite, smart and have rare good looks. If they got accidentally grouped with the non-dysfunctional category it seems like a minor error.

    • Anthony says:

      You would want to subtract the adoption rate if you’re truly interested in just those kids living with biological parents. Depending why you’re interested in that, adoptions to near relatives may be a partial confound.

  3. Dan says:

    So it’s not age 18, and it doesn’t say whether the parents are both married, but the second table here gives the percentage of adolescents living with both parents (rather than a stepfamility or single parent arrangement) by OECD country. By that measure, America pretty much leads the OECD in broken families. Basically 60% of the young people live with both parents.

    http://www.oecd.org/els/soc/41919559.pdf

    I would think typically, if the parents are still together when the kid is a teenager, they are probably married.

    • jamesd127 says:

      Table SF1.3.B That is not nearly as bad as I thought, though of course that is not “to age 18”

      Even if a majority of adolescents are not fatherless, the proportion that retain their fathers all the way from age zero to age 17 must be smaller than the proportion that have fathers at any one time, thus forty percent bastardy by the measure of table SF1.3.B is consistent with about fifty percent bastardy by the stronger definition.

      That dad was around at the time of survey does not necessarily mean he was reliably around, thus, forty to fifty percent bastardy in the US of A.

    • Handle says:

      Thanks! I think this (and its reference surveys) will go a long way to help me reconstruct the desired metric.

      But it seems a little fishy. I guess it depends on what, ‘The father and mother are not in the same household’ means. The U.S. divorce rate (certainly the state alimony supervision caseload) is much too large to be consistent with the tiny numbers in that column. They break it down later with 14% in step-families and nearly 25% in ‘mother alone’ but I’m guessing a lot of that ‘mother alone’ is ‘divorced without remarrying’ which I think would mean ‘The father and mother are not in the same household’.

      Maybe it’s just true that the large majority of divorced US moms quickly get remarried.

      Anyway, to the salt data mines!

  4. jamesd127 says:

    I suspect reported step parents are far too high. A lot of single moms think that some guy who does not remember their name is their kids step daddy.

  5. Screwtape says:

    It is very time-consuming to get historical data from the Census or American Community Survey, but these are the places to look. (For U.S. data, of course.)
    Here’s the present state of America:
    For Blacks: http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/12_1YR/B13002B
    For Hispanics: http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/12_1YR/B13002I
    For Asians: http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/12_1YR/B13002D
    For Whites: http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/12_1YR/B13002H

    • Handle says:

      Fascinating. Approx. Unwed Percentages (Jim’s ‘bastardy rate’) of American babies born in the past year, by mothers of race:
      Asian: 12%
      White: 25%
      Hispanic: 45%
      Black: 70%

      Good grief. And these are just the lower bounds for my metric for these subgroups. The other kids have 17 years to go.

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