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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Thursday, December 26, 2002

The NY Times On European Demographics

Better Article: The Economist, Aug. 22, 2002

Opportunity for Enterprising Fact-Checker: This from the NY Times:

"By contrast, the United States had a 2.0 rate, which demographers attribute to greater immigration.

I don't think the number or the explanation is correct, but who has time with kids and vacations?

[OK, from the Economist: By the 1990s American fertility had rebounded, rising back to just below the 2.1 mark.

Nobody quite knows why. Some of the recovery was the result of higher-than-average fertility among immigrants. But not all of it: fertility rose among native-born whites and blacks as well. Perhaps the most plausible, if unprovable, explanation is that higher fertility was the product of the economic boom of the 1990s combined with what one might call “social confidence”: America was a good country to bring more children into.

Well, who are you going to trust? ]

Turn And Face The Change: "In Italy... Labor Minister Roberto Maroni has announced that the cost of the state pension system will need to be reduced. "

Little Known Cultural Quirk: "Ms. Ginori [who is, unsurprisingly, Italian] and many women she knows have never married, in part, she said, because of a facet of Italian life that she cited as one possible explanation for the especially low fertility rate here.

Many Italian men, she said, live with their mothers into their 30's. When they marry, they are not prepared to help out at home in ways that take pressure off women, especially if those women want to have children.

"Even the most open-minded guy — if you scratch with the nail a little bit, there's the mother who did everything for him," she said. "I hate the mothers of these men. These mothers are a disaster."

And finally, Confirming What I have Been Saying: People are studying longer, and thus are finding work later, when there is work, and then are marrying later, which doesn't necessarily mean having a baby anymore," said Valerio Terra Abrami, head of the department of social statistics for Italy's National Institute of Statistics.

Emphasis added. The high structural unemployment in Europe has many consequences.

UPDATE: UPI International.

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