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.