Fertility, Social Action, Socialism
In the latest volume of the American Jewish Year Book Erich Rosenthal shows that American Jews have stood aside from the baby boom. In 1957, when the average American married or formerly-married woman of childbearing age (fifteen to forty- four) had 2.2+ children, the Catholic rate was 2.3-; the Protestant, 2.2+; and the Jewish, 1.75-. With the average woman forty-five and over having had 2.8- children, the Catholic rate was 3+; the Protestant, 2.75+; and the Jewish, 2.2+. Jewish fertility, current and completed, is therefore about 20 per cent less than the Protestant and about 25 per cent less than the Catholic.
Professor Rosenthal explains that Jews rank high in everything that makes for low birth rates: living in or near the largest cities, white-collar occupation of the husband, education of the wife, income, and rapid social and economic advance. Since Jews are similar to Presbyterians in most of these things, the two birth rates are also similar. The completed fertility of the Presbyterians is one per cent less than the Jews’, and the current fertility of the Jews is 11 per cent less than the Presbyterians’. (The Presbyterians have the lowest rate of any Protestant denomination for which we have data.)
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