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I think my stats are fine. They're pretty much the best one can get from the data available. Comparing Algerians with African-Americans is the right comparison (comparing French black women would make no sense because gender imbalance would skew the data so as to make comparisons meaningless). In fact I even omitted all sorts of reasons why the discrepancy is even more amazing than I suggest. One of them is that Muslim societies are traditionally endogamous (marrying cousins is quite common in the Muslim world).

God forbid that my citation of Sailer's article be interpreted as my "endorsement" of his views. It absolutely does *not*. Thanks, Marek, for giving me a chance to clarify this. And yes you're right that one must be doubly careful.

Todd's numbers refer to "the 90s" so they should be compared with something inbetween the 2% (for 1990) or the 4% (the rate for 2000). Doesn't really make much difference. I thought of splitting the difference but I hate to make up my own numbers.

It would be great if Dodo's extrapolation about current marriage rates were correct. Maybe they are. I hope they are. But one cannot use the 2% and 4% figures in the same equation because the census methodology changed: multiracial categories were added, which some people argue provided a one-off boost.  Put differently, subtracting 2 from 4 is really subtracting apples from oranges.  

I consulted with local demographers who basically shrugged their shoulders and said with the changes in census methods "it's anyone's guess." Someone like Bill Frey would agree with your optimism. But others don't. I really have no idea.

Anyway, thanks to both of you for your comments.

by Bernard Chazelle (Bernard Chazelle) on Sun Jan 29th, 2006 at 07:30:06 PM EST
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It would be great if Dodo's extrapolation about current marriage rates were correct. Maybe they are. I hope they are. But one cannot use the 2% and 4% figures in the same equation because the census methodology changed: multiracial categories were added, which some people argue provided a one-off boost.

I don't think the allowing of multi-racial self-identification had that much an influence on marriage statistics. If at all, by slightly reducing the tally: losing pairs with a white husband and with a black/white multiracial wife who in 1990 chose "black", as well as with a black wife and a black/white husband choosing "white" in 1990.

Also, my extrapolation from the under-30 figure is not affected by changes in statistics methods. So I think a mid-nineties "current" marriage rate of around 7-10% should be about correct - and still supports your contention about France being (having been in the nineties) a more effective melting pot.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Jan 30th, 2006 at 04:13:49 AM EST
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