Archive for the 'Families & Fertility' Category

Maybe just a nothing burger, but. . .

Funding for fetal tissue research in jeopardy & funding for teen pregnancy prevention axed.

NIH fetal tissue research would be barred under House panel’s spending plan
Lev Facher | STAT News
July 13, 2017

WASHINGTON — A House subcommittee’s draft 2018 spending plan would prohibit federal funds from being spent on research that uses fetal tissue, a symbolic win for conservatives who are also taking aim at money for family planning and public health programs around the country.

Trump administration suddenly pulls plug on teen pregnancy programs
Jane Kay | Reveal: Center for Investigative Reporting
July 14, 2017

The Trump administration has quietly axed $213.6 million in teen pregnancy prevention programs and research at more than 80 institutions around the country, including Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and Johns Hopkins University.

. . .

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and other top Trump appointees are outspoken opponents of federal funding for birth control, advocating abstinence rather than contraceptives to control teen pregnancies.

. . .

The elimination of two years of funding for the five-year projects shocked the professors and community health officials around the country who run them.

An economist’s best friend: a natural experiment

Male Earnings, Marriageable Men, and non-marital fertility:
Evidence from the Fracking boom

Melissa Kearney and Riley Wilson | NBER Working Paper [23408]
May 2017

This paper takes advantage of the fracking boom to see if an influx of high paying jobs would increase the likelihood of marriage among men without college degrees.

You have to read the paper to find the answer.
Abstract | Paper

Another option is to read the transcript from an interview with one of the authors (Kearney) in Freakonomics Radio link. The last half discusses the findings. This link also goes to a podcast of the interview.

The Fracking Boom, a Baby Boom, and the Retreat from Marriage
Stephen J. Dubner | Freakonomics Radio
July 5, 2017

Missing girls in China maybe weren’t missing after all

China has had a highly unbalanced sex ratio at birth for years leading to an estimate of 30 to 60 million missing girls. The traditional explanation was male preference, exacerbated by the one-child policy, which led to sex selective abortion and/or infanticide. New research presents evidence that maybe the missing girls were never missing after all.

Researchers may have ‘found’ many of China’s 30 million missing girls
Simon Denyer | Washington Post
November 30, 2016

Delayed Registration and Identifying the “Missing Girls” in China
Yaojiang Shi and John James Kennedy | China Daily
November 15, 2016

Data Sleuths at the Census Bureau

The Census Bureau gathered data on fertility by asking a “children ever born” question from 1940 to 1990 in the decennial census. The 2000 Census did not ask a fertility question at all. With the advent of the American Community Survey, fertility was covered but with a different question. It asked if a woman had given birth to a child in the past year. This allows researchers to compute a total fertility rate. It performs reasonably well against the measure produced from the vital statistics system. And, given that geography is not readily available with the natality detail files anymore, this is a welcome solution. The main drawback to the ACS question is that the reference year will not span the calendar year that the vital statistics system is based on. Only the December respondents are referencing a January to December calendar year. See the Background section below for a further discussion of this.

However, recently, the Census Bureau noticed some anomalies in the data for selected areas and determined that some interviewers had been sloppy and asked “Have you given birth” rather than “Have you given birth in the last year.” Many more women will answer yes to the former and inflate the numerator. This is a good illustration of how much effort the Census Bureau goes to for producing accurate and robust statistics.

Data Sleuthing
Addressing Data Collection Errors in the Fertility Question in the American Community Survey
Tavia Simmons | Census Bureau
August 2016

In recent years, a few geographic areas in the American Community Survey (ACS) data had unusually high percentages of women reported as giving birth in the past year, quite unlike what was seen in previous years for those areas. This paper describes the issue that was discovered, and the measures taken to address it.

Background
Indicators of Marriage and Fertility in the United States from the American Community Survey: 2000 to 2004
T. Johnson and J. Dye | Census Bureau
May 2005
[ppt]

Slides 23 to 26 discuss and illustrate how the ACS and Vital Statistics estimates diverge from each other.

Mixed Marriage and How We Think About Race

Jeff Guo of Wonkblog examines research showing trends in how children of mixed marriages report their own race to the Census Report.

In fact, new immigrants may be assimilating a lot faster than than we had ever thought. A new study this week from economists Brian Duncan, of the University of Colorado, and Stephen Trejo of University of Texas, Austin finds that the descendents of immigrants from Latin-American and Asian countries quickly cease to identify as Hispanic or Asian on government surveys.

The Duncan & Trejo paper can be found here.

U.S. Fertility Rate

The big news from the National Vital Statistics Report, Births: Final Data for 2014, was that the general fertility rate increased in 2014 for the first year since 2007.

Anna Sutherland, writing for Family Studies, highlights some other findings: The U.S. Fertility Rate May (Finally) Be Recovering from the Recession.

2015 Kids Count Data Book

The Annie E. Casey Foundation released it’s annual Kids Count Data Book: State Trends in Child Well-Being.

From the website:

The 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book focuses on America’s children in the midst of the country’s economic recovery. While data show improvements in child health and education, more families are struggling to make ends meet, and a growing number of kids live in high-poverty neighborhoods. In addition to ranking states in several areas of child well-being, the report also examines the influence of parents’ education, health and other life circumstances on their children.

Go to the Kids Count Data Center to look at state data, as well as county, city and congressional district level data.

Millennial Generation Still Living at Home

Despite an improved economy more young adults live with their parents: “In 2010, 69% of 18- to 34-year-olds lived independently. As of the first four months of this year, only 67% of Millennials were living independently.”

Pew Report here.

Preliminary Birth Data for 2014

The National Vital Statistics System released Births: Preliminary Data for 2014. The general fertility rate increased by 1% (the first increase since 2007), though the birth rate for teenagers and women aged 20-24 continued to decrease (both rates are at historic lows). The birth rates for women aged 30-34 and 35-39 seem to be driving the overall fertility increase: the number of births in these age groups increase by 4% and 5% respectively.

Measuring Abortion

Amelia Thomson-Deveaux and Hayley Munguia of FiveThirtyEight examine the different ways abortion is measured in the United States and how difficult it is to gain a deep understanding of abortion trends based on these measures.

See also: The Abortion Rate Is Falling Because Fewer Women Are Getting Pregnant.