Monday, November 10, 2008


Demographics is destiny. As a strong majority of people share the same religious, and political views as their parents you can actually predict what the world will look like in the future with a reasonable amount of accuracy by watching demographic trends. I decided to make a rough estimate of whether demographics were favoring Republicans or Democrats. From what little evidence I have, I would suspect that among white people those who have more kids would be more likely to be Republican. I would also suspect that this trend would be more than canceled by the fact minorities have more children than white people.

To do this right, I would have to look at the birth rates of Republicans and Democrats in every state. I am too lazy for this, and don't even know that the statistics for this exist. So, I did something similar, I took a list of number of births per 1000 residents of each state and a list of who voted for which presidential candidate.

States that voted for McCain are in red, states that voted for Obama are in blue.

State: Birth Rate:
Utah: 20.9
Texas: 16.9
Arizona: 16.2
Idaho: 16.1
Alaska: 15.8
Georgia: 15.7
Nevada: 15.4
California: 15.2
New Mexico: 15
Nebraska: 14.9
Colorado: 14.8
South Dakota: 14.8
Oklahoma: 14.6
District of Columbia: 14.5
Kansas: 14.5
Mississippi: 14.5
Wyoming: 14.2
North Carolina: 14.2
Arkansas: 14.1
Hawaii: 14.1
Illinois: 14
Indiana: 13.9
Minnesota: 13.8
Virginia: 13.8
Delaware: 13.8
Tennessee: 13.7
South Carolina: 13.6
Missouri: 13.6
Kentucky: 13.5
Louisiana: 13.5
Maryland: 13.4
Iowa: 13.3
Alabama: 13.3
Washington: 13.2
North Dakota: 13.2
New Jersey: 13.1
Ohio: 12.9
New York: 12.8
Wisconsin: 12.8
Florida: 12.7
Oregon: 12.6
Michigan: 12.6
Montana: 12.4
Massachusetts: 12
Connecticut: 11.9
Rhode Island: 11.8
Pennsylvania: 11.7
West Virginia: 11.5
New Hamshire: 11
Maine: 10.7
Vermont: 10.1

In this list, 7 of the 10 states with the highest birth rate voted for McCain while only 2 of the 10 states with the lowest birth rates voted for him. Just a quick glance at the numbers makes it pretty clear that long term demographics strongly favor the Republicans. The average birth rate in a Republican state is 14.6, the average in a Democrat state is 13.1. That means the average Democrat state has the birth rate of New Jersey(#36/51), and the average Republican state has the birth rate of Oklahoma(#13/51).

This however isn't the whole story. In the long run, it is true those groups in society with the highest birth rates take over. However another way to look at these numbers is to try to calculate how many babies are being born in red states, and how many in blue states. Doing this actually gives the exact opposite trend. Because Obama won so many states he has a higher percentage of the total babies born. When I did the calculation to find out about how many babies were born this year in red states, and blue states, I came up with 1 400 000 babies born in red states, and 2 800 000 born in blue states. While the growth rate is higher for the red states, the total numbers are low. It will take a long time for Republican states populations to surpass those of Democrat states. If present trends hold it is quite likely red states will eventually pass blue states, but that is so far in the future to be impossible to predict. The one exception to this is if within every state the birth rate of Republicans is higher. That may in fact be true but I don't think I can get data to show it to be true.

1 comment:

Jamie said...

You just lost the right to complain that you have too much work to do and/or too little time to do it.