Fertility Rates and Household Wealth

A new U.S. government report noted that the birth rate continues to fall, now with a fertility rate of just 1.6 children per woman. That rate is considered “below replacement rate” meaning that the next generation will be smaller than the current one and that the overall population will grow older on average.

According to the World Bank, the overall percentage of the global population under 14 years old in 2019 was just 25.6%. It was just 18.5% for the United States, down significantly from 30.8% in 1961 in the post-World War II boom years.

There is a meaningful divide between the western world and the rest in terms of the number of children and how it relates to household wealth which will be reviewed here.

Children and Household Wealth around the World

There are three parts of the world which have a very young population, with over 35% of the population being 14 years old or younger: sub-Saharan Africa, several Muslim countries, and the islands of the Pacific.

Roughly 42% of sub-Saharan Africa is under 14 years old. Most of the countries are very poor, with a GDP per capital under $2,000. Outliers like Seychelles (with a relatively low 24% of the population under 14 y.o.) and Mauritius (17%) have much higher GDP per capita (GDP/C) of $17,448 and $11,099, respectively.

The other regions have a more scattered correlation between GDP per capita and high percentage of children as seen in the chart below.

Countries with over 35% of the population under 14 years old fall into three buckets: sub-Saharan Africa (not shown), Muslim countries (yellow) and Pacific islands (blue)

The blue dots represent Pacific island countries and the yellow dots correspond to Muslim countries. Pakistan, Tajikistan, Yemen and Afghanistan have GDP/C of around $1,000 or less. The two subsidized Muslim economies of Iraq ($5,955) and the Palestinian Authority ($3,562) are outliers in their relatively higher income levels and young population. Only Tonga and Samoa have similar around $4,000 GDP/C outside of Africa.

The United States

The GDP per Capita in the United States crossed $65,000 in 2019 while the fertility rate plummeted. The country has a diverse population so a deeper review of the drivers of the fertility drop as well as the dynamics of household wealth are worth exploring to appreciate the underlying causes.

As seen in the US Fertility Rate table above, the fertility rate for women of all races declined significantly between 2008 and 2016. The drop was greatest for Hispanic women (-26%) and Native Americans (-24%), followed by Whites and Blacks (-12% each).

The census data on average household income by race and status adds further color.

CharacteristicAll racesWhite alone, not HispanicBlack aloneAsian aloneHispanic (any race)
No Children89,31596,08160,794113,35470,604
With children <18119,506138,97079,151165,79380,592
Married no kids127,016132,34099,595141,35096,487
Married with kids146,238161,392123,121178,51094,336
Unmarried, no kids103,795107,34278,588156,37791,062
Unmarried with kids87,86595,92571,381(B)78,031
Male, no kids92,13399,11874,695123,49282,112
Male with kids83,98394,73363,69388,76473,777
Female, no kids74,95379,14869,54392,75564,067
Female with kids57,27465,24846,90090,47652,923
Household income for various US groups in 2019 according to the U.S. census. Too small a data set for unmarried Asian households with children at home.

There’s a lot of data here, so some observations:

Households headed by married couples with children at home make more money. Households (HH) with children under 18 at home make more money than those without, but that is purely driven by married HH. Asian married HH that have kids at home make an average of 26% more than married Asian HH without children. For Blacks the difference was 24%. Meanwhile, Hispanic married HH – and only Hispanics – without children make slightly more money than those with kids.

Non-traditional” HH with no kids make more money. Unmarried HH and those headed by either a single father or mother have greater wealth if there are no children. The difference is the greatest for Black HH headed by a woman, where average HH income is 48% higher if there are no kids at home, and for HH headed by Asian men, who make 39% more money on average if no kids are at home. Only HH headed by Asian women have virtually no difference whether there are kids at home or not.

Asian and Blacks have dramatically different household wealth. Not only do Asians make significantly more money than Black HH (86% more in HH with no kids at home and 109% more in HH with kids at home), the biggest drivers were in unmarried HH without kids and woman-headed HH with kids.

The change in household income adds additional color, with the table below showing the change from 2012 to 2019.

CharacteristicAll racesWhite alone, not HispanicBlack aloneAsian aloneHispanic (any race)
Married no kids38%38%40%39%35%
Married with kids44%42%51%49%50%
Unmarried, no kids35%34%37%62%20%
Unmarried with kids48%45%41%NA55%
Male, no kids38%41%42%37%32%
Male with kids41%41%35%34%44%
Female, no kids32%31%33%24%38%
Female with kids40%33%47%60%50%
Change in household income between 2012 and 2019 for various groups in the United States according to US Census

Households with kids have income growing faster. Income grew faster for households with children relative to those without kids between 2012 and 2019 for every type of household. Income grew fastest for those households headed by unmarried couples. Minorities faired better than Whites for female-headed homes with kids and married homes.

Hispanic households seeing the biggest gaps to an increase in income between having kids and not having kids. While Whites, Blacks and Asians mostly followed the averages or had mixed results, the Hispanic community saw big advances among those families which had children at home relative to the more modest gains among those with no children at homes.

In summary, the Hispanic community which accounts for 16.7% of the US population is having a steep decline in the number of children which is driving the overall low US fertility rates. While this is happening, the wealth for Hispanic households without kids is growing at a much slower pace than those HH with children. This is creating a gap in the Hispanic community between the wealthier HHs with children and the poorer ones which are having no kids.

Possible Reasons for Fertility Rates and Changes

There is clearly a correlation around the world that poorer countries have more children than richer countries.

The Guttmacher Institute estimates that 93 out of 1,000 pregnancies are unintended in poor countries compared to 66 in middle income and 34 in wealthy countries. Abortions are also more prevalent in wealthier countries with 40%, 66% and 43% of such unwanted pregnancies ending with an abortion in poor, middle and wealth countries, respectively. The net result is a higher fertility rate in poorer countries.

Religion should also be considered as a factor as many devout Muslim countries do not promote contraception and abhor abortions.

The low fertility rates in the United States goes beyond income and abortions.

Minority groups have the highest rates of abortion in the US. In 2016, 28% of abortions were by Black women even though they account for just 13% of the population. Hispanics accounted for 25% of abortions while they make up 17% of the population. This is in contrast to the global trend where poorer segments had fewer abortions.

In the US, Hispanics and Blacks still have higher fertility rates (2.1 and 1.9, respectively) than Whites (1.7) but the trends are much steeper for Hispanics as they are quickly adopting the more prevalent fertility rates found throughout America.

The lower fertility rates may seem strange relative to Pew Research which shows that women in America are having MORE children, albeit later in life as they prefer to pursue advanced degrees and build their careers. Pew notes that their work looks at the lifetime fertility rates of women whereas the standard definition of fertility is based solely on that one year’s accounting of births.

The Pew report also noted that one of the biggest changes in fertility is among women who were never married having children, where 55% of women aged 40-44 have had a child in 2014, up from just 31% in 1994. Incorporating the data above, this suggests that unmarried women are having children despite the fact that they are likely to be poorer for doing so, but the income level for this segment (unmarried moms) is growing the fastest.

Outlier

One country seems to be defying the trends in fertility, with a higher fertility rate and a high level of wealth: Israel.

From 2000 to 2019, Israel’s fertility rate stayed relatively constant, growing from 2.95 to 3.01. With a GDP/C of $43,600, this is a remarkable achievement.

The country’s ultra-Orthodox and Bedouin communities continue to have large numbers of children and the number of abortions in the country continues to hit new lows every year.


A quick read of the low and declining fertility rates in the US is certainly reason for concern, but a deeper dive into the numbers reveals some important facts. 1) Women are extending the period of time in which they have children to later in life so the total number of children they have is actually rising. 2) The drop off in fertility in the US is mostly due to the Hispanic community moving quickly towards the societal average. 3) The average income for the growing “non-traditional” households (unmarried, single parent) with children is growing faster than the rest of society.


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UNRWA Is Not Just Making “Refugees,” It’s Creating Palestinians

It has been often reviewed how the United Nations has manufactured Palestinian Arab “refugees.” The fabrication done at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has been via:

  • calling someone a “refugee” when they left a home or town, rather than a country which is the actual definition of a refugee;
  • allowing the descendants of those Palestinian Arab “refugees” to claim such status, even though no such status is conferred to other refugees;
  • Telling those refugees that they will return to homes that grandparents left decades ago, even when such homes no longer exist and not a goal of relief agencies;
  • Still calling such people “refugees,” even when they live in the same country that they claim to be refugees of, in the case of Palestinian Arabs living in Gaza and the West Bank

However, the NUMBER of Palestinian Arabs has not been reviewed, and particularly, how UNRWA has increased the number of Palestinian Arabs through its actions.

Fertility Rates in Undeveloped Areas

The UN has completed studies that show how more developed countries witness a much lower rate of birth and older population compared to less developed countries.

Development Stage:         Advanced           Less              Least
Annual rate of
population change                0.3%                1.4%              2.4%

Population age 0-14               16%                28%                40%

Maternal Mortality                0.01%            0.24%             0.44%

Undeveloped countries like Yemen and Sudan have very high birth rates, averaging over 4 children per mother. They similarly have a high maternal and infant mortality rates, as the level of healthcare in those countries is quite poor.

Not so for the healthcare of Palestinian Arabs, thanks to UNRWA.

UNRWA deploys billions of dollars every year to give the Palestinian Arabs the best healthcare in almost the entire world. As a result, despite the high birth rates in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, the mortality rates are a fraction witnessed throughout the region.

fertility vs mortality

Most of the mothers in the Middle East average between 1.5 and 3.0 children. Societies in Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Iran and Qatar average just below two children per mother according to the World Health Organization. The incidents of children under five years old dying was low in those countries, at roughly 1.0 to 1.5%. On the other end of the spectrum were countries under severe distress, including Sudan and Yemen. These countries with over four children on average per mother saw an expected rate of death for children under five years old of 6.0%, five times the rate of the more stable and advanced regions.

But the Palestinian Arabs are an anomaly. While Palestinian mothers average 4.1 children, according to the WHO, the probability of the children dying was the same as experienced in advanced Turkey or Saudi Arabia, at under 1.5%. Applying 2014 data of 121,330 Palestinian Arab births in Gaza and the West Bank, would suggest that 1,808 of these children will die before age 5, but the theoretical number without UNRWA intervention would be closer to that 6.0% percentage of Sudan and Yemen, or 7,280 deaths. That means that because of UNRWA, there will be 5,472 more Palestinian Arab children alive from the class of 2014.

Further adding the 0.2% improved rate of maternal mortality represents approximately 240 mothers each year that do not pass away due to UNRWA’s efforts. In total, considering that UNRWA has been operating for close to 70 years through multiple generations, the number of incremental Palestinian Arabs living in Gaza and the West Bank because of UNRWA is close to 1 million.

Future Action: Jobs versus Contraception

The United Nations created a document together with the Palestinian Authority called “Palestine 2030 – Demographic Change” which told an interesting narrative and plan for the Palestinian demographic boom.

The opening lines of the report bemoaned the slow rate of the population growth: “Palestine’s demographic transition particularly its fertility component, continues to lag behind that of many Asia countries, including Arab countries… Fertility, which was extremely high in the 1970s has been cut in half.” A shocking statement compared to the statistics listed above.

The report continued to discuss the connection between fertility rates and education and income. “Very universal marriage, early marriage, and a low contraceptive rate, especially for modern methods of contraception (used by 44%), are the main proximate determinants of the present level of fertility. Household wealth also plays a role. But it is mainly education, particularly female education that determines the fertility rate.

The report estimates that the Palestinian Arab population in Gaza and the West Bank will grow from 4.7 million in 2015, to 6.9 million in 2030 and 9.5 million in 2050. The doubling of the Palestinian population between 2015 and 2050 compares to a global growth rate of just 36%. The high Palestinian rate of growth is only anticipated in the large poor African countries like Chad, Uganda and Tanzania. Consider further that the number of “refugees” in the GS/WB areas is forecast to grow from roughly 2 million today to 3 million in 2030 and 4.5 million in 2050 (+125% for refugees and +85% for non-refugees). UNRWA clearly impacts the population growth, with estimates of “creating” an additional 800,000 Palestinian Arabs by 2050.

Those are staggering figures for a small territory.

And yet the report claims that the solution to the population boom is not population control, but more jobs and education for women.

If the United Nations is on the front lines of health services in the Palestinian territories, why is the use of contraception only at 44%, when it stands at 64% in the rest of the world where women have to obtain, purchase and manage their health on their own? Why isn’t UNRWA doing more education about family planning and making more contraceptives available?  It is estimated that 7.0% and 5.0% of Palestinians use the pill and condoms, respectively. Shouldn’t the rate be double or triple, more in line with Lebanon (15.1% pill) and Turkey (15.9% condoms)? Overall contraceptive use should be targeted at 75%, in line with the Islamic Republic of Iran at 76.6%.

The UN General Assembly made a global goal of comprehensive family planning in its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in which it set out “universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes.” With thousands of feet on the ground in Gaza and the West Bank, the UN is in prime position to take an aggressive stance.

Palestinian Arabs have extremely high fertility rates similar to third world countries but receive first-class healthcare from the United Nations. In doing so, UNRWA has helped the Palestinian Arab population balloon by an incremental one million people, or 25%. Will the UN advance its own global family planning goals for Palestinian Arabs, or does it prefer to create a demographic army to confront Israel?


Related First.One.Through articles:

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Time to Dissolve Key Principles of the “Inalienable Rights of Palestinians”

An Inconvenient Truth: Population Statistics in Israel/Palestine

Mad World of Palestinian Quality of Life Statistics

Arabs in Jerusalem

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“Ethnic Cleansing” in Israel and the Israeli Territories

The term “ethnic cleansing” has been used often in the Arab-Israeli conflict.  The reactions to the comment are in inverse relation to the truth.

Palestinians Claim
of Israeli “Ethnic Cleansing”

In 2012, the acting-President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, stood at the United Nations and claimed that Israel was engaged in “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinian Arabs.  At first, he spoke about “ethnic cleansing” when Israel declared independence:

“The Palestinian people, who miraculously recovered from the ashes of Al-Nakba of 1948, which was intended to extinguish their being and to expel them in order to uproot and erase their presence, which was rooted in the depths of their land and depths of history. In those dark days, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were torn from their homes and displaced within and outside of their homeland, thrown from their beautiful, embracing, prosperous country to refugee camps in one of the most dreadful campaigns of ethnic cleansing and dispossession in modern history.”

Abbas neglected to say that the Palestinian Arabs left their homes while their fellow Arabs launched an attack on the nascent Jewish State to destroy it completely.  The Arabs failed in their genocidal quest.  Yet for its part, Israel granted all of the Arabs living in its territory full citizenship.  A complete inversion of his claim that Israel “intended to extinguish their [Arab] being and to expel them in order to uproot and erase their presence.”

Abbas continued to claim that Israel was engaged in “ethnic cleansing” to this day:

“We have not heard one word from any Israeli official expressing any sincere concern to save the peace process. On the contrary, our people have witnessed, and continue to witness, an unprecedented intensification of military assaults, the blockade, settlement activities and ethnic cleansing, particularly in Occupied East Jerusalem, and mass arrests, attacks by settlers and other practices by which this Israeli occupation is becoming synonymous with an apartheid system of colonial occupation, which institutionalizes the plague of racism and entrenches hatred and incitement.”

Abbas conveniently neglected to mention the hundreds of rockets fired from Gaza into Israel throughout 2012. He also neglected to mention that Israel left Gaza in 2005, allowing the Palestinian Arabs to rule themselves for the first time in hundreds of years.

No matter.  The people at the United Nations gave Abbas a standing ovation.

abbas-at-un
Acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas
addressing the United Nations in 2012

United Nations Claim
of Israeli “Ethnic Cleansing”

In 2014, the “Special Rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories” (yes, that’s an actual title) whose job it is to report on Israelis, declared that Israel was committing “ethnic cleansing” in East Jerusalem.

“The continued pattern of settlement expansion in East Jerusalem combined with forcible eviction of long residing Palestinians are creating an intolerable situation that can only be described, in its cumulative impact, as a form of ethnic cleansing.

The facts are the exact opposite: the Arabs in Jerusalem are growing faster than the non-Arab population.

As detailed in “Arabs in Jerusalem,” the Arab population in Jerusalem now stands at 36% of the city, up from 26% when the city was reunited in 1967.  From 1967 to 2011, the Arab population in the city grew by 5.7 times, while the Jewish population in the Israeli capital only grew by 3.4 times over the same period.

No matter the facts. “The Special Rappoteur “called on the Council to undertake efforts to have the UN’s top court, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), assess allegations that the prolonged occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem possess elements of “colonialism,” “apartheid” and ‘ethnic cleansing.'”

No comments from United States or anyone else about the absurd and caustic statements, nor on the lunatic who made them (who incidentally, is a big 9/11 conspiracy theorist).

Israeli Prime Minister Claims
of Palestinian “Ethnic Cleansing”

In September 2016, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the Palestinians of “ethnically cleansing” Jews from their historic homeland of Judea and Samaria / the West Bank.  Netanyahu made his statement because Abbas has stated he cannot accept a single Israeli living in a new state of Palestine.

Netanyahu did not even bring up a variety of other Palestinian Authority laws, as detailed in “Abbas Knows Racism,” such as:

  • Palestinian Authority law that condemns any Arab that sells land to a Jew to death.
  • Palestinian universities bar entry to Jews

The origins of Arab ethnic cleansing of Jews dates back decades, to when the Jordanians illegally annexed eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1950 and expelled all of the Jews from the area.  Jordan then passed a citizenship law in 1954 that specifically EXCLUDED Jews from being granted citizenship in their own homeland.

“Any person who, not being Jewish, possessed Palestinian nationality before 15 May 1948 and was a regular resident in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan between 20 December 1949 and 16 February 1954″ (Article 3)

So what was the world reaction when Netanyahu finally stated some clear and obvious facts?  Condemnation.

The spokesperson for the US State Department responded to the Netanyahu video: “We believe that using that type of terminology is inappropriate and unhelpful.”

When Abbas heard that Netanyahu used the “ethnic cleansing” charge, Abbas doubled-down by saying again that Israel uses “ethnic cleansing” against the Palestinians.

No comment from the State Department about Abbas’s use of the term.

The current United States administration and United Nations have no time or interest for Israelis stating simple truths. It would appear, that if you want the world to agree and applaud, you would best be served by denying facts like the Palestinian Arabs.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Palestinians of Today and the Holocaust

The Long History of Dictating Where Jews Can Live Continues

The UN Fails on its Own Measures to address the Conditions Conducive to the Spread of Terrorism

Names and Narrative: Genocide / Intifada

The Left-Wing’s Two State Solution: 1.5 States for Arabs, 0.5 for Jews

The US State Department Does Not Want Israel to Fight Terrorism

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An Inconvenient Truth: Population Statistics in Israel/Palestine

The questions of word choice and chosen narrative dominates much of the discourse around the Israeli-Arab conflict. However, simple statistics do not suffer and sit in the same simmering pot as poisoned positions.

Below is a music video with music by Seal with a basic question: “Why do people get complacent with the things they’re told?”

  1. Under the Ottomans, the Muslim population in Palestine barely grew from 1800 to 1922. The rate of growth was effectively births minus deaths (meaning no Muslims moved to Palestine).
  2. Jewish population growth in Palestine BEFORE THE BRITISH MANDATE took effect was twice the Muslim population growth (meaning Jews were the only people who moved to Palestine, well before the mandate).
  3. The expanding Jewish aliyahs to Israel after the mandate came from countries OTHER THAN ENGLAND (meaning that the “creation of a Jewish homeland” as dictated under the San Remo agreement, was NOT a colonization effort, as the Jews did NOT come from England).
  4. Jews did not come to Israel as a reaction to the Holocaust- they already constituted 31% of the country in 1945.
  5. By the time World War II was over, the growth of Jews in Israel was equally from NATURAL population growth, as from aliyah (further undermining the claim that the Holocaust had anything to do with the creation of Israel).
  6. The population growth of Muslims in the region, ONLY started under Israeli rule in 1967 (the claims of ethnic cleansing are not only insulting but completely opposite the actual population statistics).
  7. Jerusalem has had a majority of Jews since 1866 (the claim that Israel is “Judaizing” the city is not simply insulting about their holiest city, it has no merit on the basis of simple numbers).
  8. The only time the Christian population in Jerusalem declined over the past century, was during the period of Jordanian/Palestinian rule 1949-1967.
  9. The Muslim population in Jerusalem exploded since Israel reunified the city in 1967. Their growth far surpasses the growth of Jews or Christians (not only has there been no “ethnic cleansing” in Israel, there has been none in Jerusalem).
  10. Compared to all of the surrounding countries which house Palestinians, the Palestinian population is not only growing faster in Israel/WB/Gaza than in any other region, it is the only place where they are growing faster than the host country.

The music video with music by Seal:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eI5l9V0uLEc


Sources:

FirstOneThrough article on “Who’s New?”: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/07/03/whos-new-everybody/

aliyah1918