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Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Muslim Population Growth: A Ticking Time Bomb?

In an earlier post, I wrote about the escalating effects of Muslim population growth on a nation's civil liberties. But in this study, it doesn't appear that Muslim population growth is nearly such a threat as it is usually made out to be. Apparently much of the misinformation has been based on the way population growth numbers are generated. I will look at some of them here.

1) Muslim population growth numbers are often based on country-of-origin statistics, and then extrapolated into country-of-destination figures. But this is not reasonable. Studies have consistently shown that moving to a rich, industrialized country causes a tremendous drop in birth rates for transplanted communities. Since religion is not tabulated in census figures in America, all estimates of Muslim population, and its growth, are little better than wild guesses.

2) In countries of origin, it is often very difficult to change one's religious categorization. For example, second- and third- generation Christians in India are still being tabulated as Hindus, because their ancestors were Hindus. The same is true in many Muslim countries, where it is legally impossible to change one's religion from Muslim to anything else. Thus even many children being labeled as Muslim in census and birth records are in fact of some other religion altogether.

3) It is very difficult to keep up high birth rates in an industrialized country. There are some exceptions, and these are the very countries in Europe where up to half of all births are to Muslim women. These countries, such as France and the Netherlands, actually pay women to have children, pay them to raise them, even pay to put them in daycare so they can go back and have another one. Thus the incentive to have lots of children is even stronger than it was in the old country, and guess what: Muslim women are having lots of children. The Muslims are taking over Holland and France, and the Dutch and French are paying them to do it. And they have to; without the rising work force of immigrant labour, there will be no one to pay the retirement benefits for the increasingly barren Hollanders and Frenchmen.

But this is not the case in most Western countries, where a number of factors serve to hold down the number of children per family:

a) Child labour laws. Whereas in the country of origin a child can be earning his own keep by the age of six, not so here. By the time he is finally allowed to legally earn enough to support himself, the typical American child has set his parents back several hundred thousand dollars--money they will never see again, except for indirectly, through his payroll taxes, when they retire on Social Security.

b) Car seat laws. Whereas back in the old country the entire family could crowd into a compact car, or pile on the back of a motorcycle, here they will need, at the very least, a minivan. Once they have over five children, they'll be forced to step up again, to a much more expensive full-sized van. These are many times more expensive to purchase, operate, and maintain than the old 'family car'. These laws alone are a strong incentive to limit family size to four children or less.

c) Zoning laws. In many places it's not possible for a large family to rent an apartment. Houses are designed for six people or less; motel rooms for a maximum of five. Especially difficult is finding accommodations for the typical three-generation family of the third world that is so crucial to meeting the needs of a large number of children.

d) College expenses. Even after twelve years of virtually free public education, parents of a large number of children will likely find that a college degree for every one of their many children to be beyond their reach. College typically costs more than what a student can earn working even 30 hours a week, so there's no way a typical breadwinner is going to be able to support two or three students at a time for the decades that it takes to put all his children through college.

e) Last but not least, medical insurance that covers contraceptive drugs and surgically induced barrenness. Where birth control is not readily available, families tend to be larger by default. But when free birth control becomes a perk for working full-time, it becomes very advantageous for a woman to make use of it. Being a SAHM in a secular environment is neither a doctrine nor a duty of the Islamic woman, and many Muslim women do work outside the home. These will not be available to continue the 8-children-per-woman tradition of the old country, especially without Grandma available to help raise those children.

Although America doesn't keep statistics on the religion of birth mothers, it does keep track of their education levels. And these statistics show that, in general, the higher a woman is educated, the fewer children she will bear. As members of Muslim society attain higher educational levels--or aspire to them for their own children--Muslim fecundity is very likely to approach the national average. It should be noted that having large families is neither a doctrine nor a duty of Islam--it just happens to be presently reflected in the statistics.

Polygamy is one reason why Muslim families had such large numbers of children, back in the old country. But the statistics can be deceiving. While virtually all women under polygamy have children, many of the men don't. And the average number of children per woman under polygamy rarely exceeds four, and is often no higher than three--a rate of growth quite attainable under monogamy.

In closing, I should offer one historical example. In the late 1800's, overpopulation pressures drove millions of Germans to emigrate. World War I decimated the remaining population. When Hitler took over in 1933, his solution was to pay German women to have babies, and pay them well--whether they were married or not. The women of Germany took up the cause, and birthrates soared as Hitler prepared to loose his armies upon Europe. But Hitler was defeated, his doctrine of "lebensraum" annulled, and only two generations later, German women no longer have enough babies to maintain their population--even though the government still covers much of the cost. North Africans and Asiatics are gradually taking their place.

In my genealogical studies, I've come to the conclusion that an average of three grandchild-producing children per female is about typical for a sustainable national growth rate, with four being the highest one can reasonably expect. And the key word here is "sustainable." The Muslim population growth rates being bandied about by fearmongers are clearly not sustainable. Sooner or later, like everything, they will revert to the mean.


It turns out that the mean worldwide birthrate for Muslim women is only just over three, after all.

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