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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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