Demographic Destiny in Blue
Birth rates in New England are among the lowest in America according to The Boston Globe:
U.S. Census Bureau report says that in 2006, New Hampshire's birthrate was 42 babies per 1,000 women of childbearing age. The national rate was 54.9 births per thousand. Vermont had the second lowest rate, at 42.2. Counting Washington, D.C., Rhode Island was third lowest, at 45; Massachusetts had the seventh lowest rate, at 46.1; and Maine the eighth lowest, at 47.3.
New England is also leaning hard left politically, especially New Hampshire. The Granite State had been a conservative outpost in New England, but not anymore. It’s blue as can be now. Is there a correlation? Definitely. Is there a cause and effect thing going on between left-wing politics and low birth rates? I strongly suspect there is.
Four years ago I read accounts by several people who were noticing that liberal areas of the country were not reproducing. Writing about the election of 2004, David Brooks in the New York Times said:
You can see surprising political correlations. As Steve Sailer pointed out in The American Conservative, George Bush carried the 19 states with the highest white fertility rates, and 25 of the top 26. John Kerry won the 16 states with the lowest rates. In The New Republic Online, Joel Kotkin and William Frey observe, "Democrats swept the largely childless cities - true blue locales like San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Boston and Manhattan have the lowest percentages of children in the nation - but generally had poor showings in those places where families are settling down, notably the Sun Belt cities, exurbs and outer suburbs of older metropolitan areas."
The red-state/blue-state map isn’t as revealing as the one divided into counties. Hanging in my classroom are the red-county/blue-county maps from the elections of 2000, 2004, and 2008. After looking at these, anyone can see that Kotkin and Frey’s analysis is dead-on. Densely populated liberal cities like San Francisco, Manhattan, Boston, Seattle and Portland are surrounded by a sea of red with a blue island here and there. The coasts are blue-fringed and the rest of America was almost all crimson. New England on the 2008 map, however, is an exception to this pattern. Maine’s Piscataquis County is the only one in all of New England showing up red. It’s Maine’s second-biggest county in area after Aroostook, but it’s the least populated with fewer than twenty thousand people.
Coincidentally, I happened to be up there just before the election last fall and I noticed a majority of lawn signs with conservative candidates. There were twice as many McCain/Palin signs than there were for Obama/Biden, and the same pattern held for the US House and Senate races.
So why is rural New England so blue now? I’m not sure. It could be continuing in-migration of liberal retirees from Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. It could be that students indoctrinated by ubiquitous left-wing teachers and professors are voting age and going to the polls. It could be that a left-of-center view of the world prevails in the region because it reached a critical mass early in the 21st century.
How long will the trend continue? Hard to say. It depends on three factors, I think. First: Will Republicans return to conservative roots and articulate their message effectively? Second: Will Democrats in control of our federal government rescue our economy with twelve-figure spending bills, or will they bankrupt us all? Third, will conservative families continue to out-breed left-wingers?
As for why leftists don’t have children, I can only take them at their word. They claim a higher calling to preserve a natural environment as if human activity is outside of, and averse to nature, or rather - Nature - since they tend to deify it. So, having children is a violation because more people means more use of Nature’s resources which are better left in their natural state. Other organisms are more noble, more natural, and more deserving of those resources than homo sapiens.
Leftists champion abortion for America, and everywhere else too. One of Obama’s first acts as president was to authorize American tax money to fund abortions around the world. They’re okay with destroying unborn humans, but every other organism must be preserved at all costs. Even though more than ninety percent of organisms that ever existed on earth are extinct due to natural processes, we must spare no expense to prevent any more from disappearing. Remarkably, leftist environmentalists don’t perceive any contradiction here. They believe they know better what life should be preserved and what life should be destroyed.
Whatever motivates them, blue leftists aren’t reproducing. What does that mean for our future? We’ll just have to wait and see.