American Family Decline


H/T Rod Dreher

The New York Times has an interesting article on a regional divide in the integrity of the American family:

“When it comes to family arrangements, the United States has a North-South divide. Children growing up across much of the northern part of the country are much more likely to grow up with two parents than children across the South.

It’s not just a red-blue political divide, either. There is a kind of two-parent arc that starts in the West in Utah, runs up through the Dakotas and Minnesota and then down into New England and New Jersey. It encompasses both the conservative Mountain West and the liberal Northeast. …”

Here are the shocking numbers of children who live in two parent families in the South with their married, biological parents:

Missouri: 43%
Kentucky: 42%
Arkansas: 37%
Oklahoma: 39%
Tennessee: 40%
West Virginia: 41%
Maryland: 46%
Virginia: 48%
North Carolina: 42%
Texas: 45%
Louisiana: 36%
Mississippi: 32%
Alabama: 38%
Georgia: 39%
South Carolina: 39%
Florida: 41%

In other words, a majority of children who are growing up in the South no longer live in a stable household with their married, biological parents. Despite the headline, the North isn’t doing so much better. The White family is collapsing there too, but there are a fewer blacks, which skews the numbers.

Here are some of the strongest Northern states:

Minnesota: 56%
Utah: 57%
Massachusetts: 52%
Nebraska: 55%
Kansas: 49%

Half of children in overwhelmingly white Kansas are now growing up in households without their married, biological parents.

Can what to we attribute this stunning decline in the traditional American family? I answered that question in my reviews of Andrew Cherlin’s The Marriage-Go-Round, Marilyn Yalom’s A History of The Wife, and Stephanie Coontz’s Marriage, a History. The American case is part of a trend found in all Western countries.

(1) First, it is due to the rise of the mass media in the mid-twentieth century, and the emergence of a global popular culture that was only made possible by the advent of film, radio, television, etc.

(2) Second, it is due to the unusual concentration of secular, leftwing Jews at the apex of the mass media – film, radio, television, social media, etc. – in both Europe and the United States.

(3) Third, it is due to recent changes in the nature of Western marriage, an institution which had previously regulated sex, which was fundamentally about procreation and inheritance, and which placed the interests of society above the individual, but which is now thought to be about “love” and individual self fulfillment.

(4) Fourth, and most importantly, it is due to the invasion of the Christian household, an arena which was considered off-limits to the public by law and custom until the mid-twentieth century, by the forces of Americanism, otherwise known as liberalism. Basically, what has happened is that the doctrine of Americanism, which privileges individualism, equality, freedom, and self expression over all other values, which comes into the household through books, movies, the television, has triumphed over the claims of society and its interest in preserving the established social order.

In such a way, the Christian household (like the integrated public schools) has become another test tube for experimentation with equal rights, individual freedom, self expression, etc. That’s why we have had this explosion in miscegenation, abortion, gay marriage, childlessness, divorce, single parent households, etc. A thousand deviant flowers have bloomed because the freedom, equality, and self expression of the rights bearing individualist is now a trump card that beats any other compelling social interest.

(5) Fifth, the state assumes responsibility for subsidizing all these proliferating lifestyles because egalitarianism holds that no lifestyle is better or should be privileged above any other, except maybe in the case of racists.

Note: Rod Dreher’s blog has been excellent lately. I have started reading it on a daily basis. He seems to have either recently awakened to the destructive nature of Americanism or has become a lot more honest in writing about it.

I attribute this sudden change to giving up on the Republican Party and the American political system after Indiana. Some scales have fallen from eyes. Eventually, we will see if Rod’s alienation from Murika takes him all the way, or whether he will retreat from his present course in order to maintain his “mainstream” respectability.

Ann Coulter has also been flirting with heresy in her latest book on immigration. Unlike Dreher though, Coulter seems to still be interested in telling the GOP how to win elections. Dreher has realized that won’t change anything, that his “mainstream” days are numbered, and that Christians are next in line to board the bigot bus.

About Hunter Wallace 12390 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent


    • I haven’t read the book.

      I’ve only heard other people talking about it. I understand it covers all the things that Pat Buchanan and Peter Brimelow were talking about 15 years ago.

  1. I had dismissed Rod Dreher as a pseudoconservative after he devoted multiple issues of AmCon to condescending “gay marriage” spin control. He seemed willfully obtuse to the implications of the state claiming authority to destroy, create, or redefine natural familial relationships.

    I’m very pleased to hear that he seems to have reconsidered his position.

  2. There may be an apple and oranges problem here. Are these figures referencing just white rates or black and whites rates combined in the several states. Since the South has a higher percent of blacks than the Northern states and blacks also have a much higher rate of non-family formation than whites, it is quite possible that white Southerners are actually doing much better in comparison to Northern whites than these figures would suggest.

  3. “Fifth, the state assumes responsibility for subsidizing all these proliferating lifestyles because egalitarianism holds that no lifestyle is better or should be privileged above any other, except maybe in the case of racists. – Hunter Wallace

    The concept of “egalitarianism” is really nothing more than a ruse designed to obliterate the natural order of life and therefore does not hold that no lifestyle is better or should be privileged above any other. This fact is demonstrated by its repeated assault on all things normal, natural and healthy in favor of all things abnormal, unnatural and unhealthy. Indeed, in this Jewed-up society, the state actively subsidizes the weak, the depraved and the debauched at the expense of life promoting and life affirming elements. In short, “egalitarianism” is nothing more than nihilism in disguise.

  4. Stats are meaningless in America unless they are separated by ethnicity. Southern schools perform poorly but if we only look at white test scores many southern states then compare favorably with European nations. The same can be said about crime. Eliminate the non-white factor and only look at white crimes stats and then you can see how much safer an all white Ethno-State would be.

  5. The regional divide posited in the article is just a distraction from the real problem that the nuclear family is collapsing. If 56% of children in Minnesota are living with their biological mother and father and that’s the best America can do, it is still scandalous.

  6. If it was because of Jews it would be stronger in the northeast. The fact that it’s stronger in the south contradicts that. except for the fact that Jews created Christianity.

  7. Not necessarily.

    There are more blacks in the Deep South. The black family is weaker than the White family. It started eroding much earlier. Anyway, 56 percent of children in Minnesota are in married, two parent families, which reflects a radical, nationwide shift in how Americans think about marriage and family life.

    The decline is going on nationwide and abroad too because global popular culture is driving it. That’s driven by television, movies, radio, social media, etc.

  8. Peter Castle and HW

    I have it on my Kindle app. It’s a very good book, but her one part where she reverts back into her Romney worship is a big bummer.

  9. Well, Sir : another fine article, with excellent analysis.

    That said, from my perspective as a Tarheel small-towner, married to an Alabama country girl who has been with me in the small NC towns, since we became inseparable, I would say this :

    Being a single Southern woman, over – oh, let’s say, 21, was, until the middle of the last century, considered to be weird – a sign of failure and or weakness to attract and hold a man!

    That was still very much there in my childhood. These days it’s gone, or, if it ain’t, then it’s down on it’s knees, nearly out for the count.

    Then there is the issue of worth ; in Eastern North Carolina, a single woman is STILL not worth what a married woman is. She may no longer be considered weird, but she is definitely less. I say this because, in the old days, there were so many more incentives for a woman to stay with a man than now. Now, if she stays, it is often mainly because she truly loves his ass.

    Last thing? Taboo. Divorce, in Eastern North Carolinian towns, right up until the recent decades was heavily frowned upon – to the point where the intensity of the frowning straddled the taboo lines, just as did the woman who stayed single.

    Why do I mention these things?

    Because, with the change in them, women have felt a willingness to go without a husband and or leave one. Today, in small Eastern North Carolinian towns, a woman is NOT stigmatized by being alone or ‘living in sin’ with a man – which was very definitely NOT the case when I was a kid. But, yes, I know you toucht upon the latter.

    These things, I think, skew the statisticks, and, thus, make them impossible to read in any conclusive way – beyond the fact that, marriage has, as you say, become less practised.

  10. One more thing : might it be that negroes, so much more plentiful in our land, skew these statisticks, too?

    As you know : fatherless kids, in their community, are the overwhelming majority.

  11. As several commenters have mentioned, these statistics have everything to do with the fact that nearly 73% of black women are single when they give birth. More blacks in the South, more blacks in urban areas, so naturally that’s where the nuclear family is weakest.

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