Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Half of Welsh Babies Are Illegitimate

More than half of the babies born in Wales this year will be to unmarried parents. The same is true in the north part of England. Britain as a whole is likely to pass the 50% threshold within a decade if present trends continue.

In the U.S. we worry because more than a third of all births are to unmarried parents. To see that the illegitimacy rate in the Mother Country is much worse, and about to pass a tipping point, is, in a way, comforting.

I think the crucial difference between Britain and U.S. that affects birth rates is that we are a much more religious people. While it is certainly true that religiosity does not grant any family immunity from out-of-wedlock births, it does make marriage before babies more likely. How much more likely? Looking at these figures, about a fifth more likely.


sporcupine said...

100% of Welsh babies are precious in God's sight. The parents made problematic choices, not the kids.

In my house, anyone who uses the word "illegitimate" can expect a vigorous challenge. Every time they say it.

Marty said...

The point of the time-honored word Bastard was never to punish the child (although it certainly did) -- but to stigmatize his parents. Stigma matters -- it helps the rest of society make less "problematic" decisions by pointing directly at shameful examples.

I miss stigma.