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The Liberal Baby Bust — What Does This Mean?

What’s the difference between Seattle and Salt Lake City? There are many differences, of course, but here’s one you might not know. In Seattle, there are nearly 45% more dogs than children. In Salt Lake City, there are nearly 19% more kids than dogs.

That is the opening paragraph of Phillip Longman’s op-ed piece in the March 13 edition of USA Today. That is quite an eye-opener. Here’s more:

This curious fact might at first seem trivial, but it reflects a much broader and little-noticed demographic trend that has deep implications for the future of global culture and politics. It’s not that people in a progressive city such as Seattle are so much fonder of dogs than are people in a conservative city such as Salt Lake City. It’s that progressives are so much less likely to have children.

It’s a pattern found throughout the world, and it augers a far more conservative future — one in which patriarchy and other traditional values make a comeback, if only by default. Childlessness and small families are increasingly the norm today among progressive secularists. As a consequence, an increasing share of all children born into the world are descended from a share of the population whose conservative values have led them to raise large families.

This is a trend worth watching, and it reveals a much larger divide in worldview and self-understanding. Just how important is parenthood and the raising of children?

SEE ALSO: My commentaries on Longman’s larger projects, The Empty Cradle–Falling Birthrates and the Human Future and The Return of Patriarchy? Fatherhood and the Future of Children.