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Religious Tolerance logo

Same-sex marriage (SSM)

Part 2: Testing the belief that marriage
equality causes the birth rate to decrease.
The theory fails in Massachusetts & Connecticut.

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This topic is continued from Part 1 in a previous essay.

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same-sex marriage logo Did the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) values in Massachusetts drop after SSMs were legalized? (Cont'd):


Conclusions:

The belief by presented by lawyers for the defendants in Love v. Beshear that legalizing SSM results in a drop in the fertility rate is false, at least for Massachusetts.

From the year 2000 -- four years before the state legalized SSM -- until 2008 -- four years after legalization, there was essentially no change in the state's total fertility rate. The TFR varied during those nine years within a range of 1.1 births/1,000 women who were aged 15 to 44 years. The highest TFR was 57.2 births per 1,000 women in that age range; the lowest was 56.1.

After 2008, the TFR decreased but so did the TFR for the U.S. as a whole. This was probably driven by the great recession and rise in unemployment rates discouraging some couples from building a family. Compared to the national TFR value, the value increased slightly for Massachusetts.

In graphical form:

TFR values for Mass. and U.S.

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Did the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) values in Connecticut drop after SSMs were legalized?:

During 2008, Connecticut became the second state in the U.S. to make marriage available to same-sex couples. Yearly data is currently available for the state as recently as 2012.

TFR data, from the March of Dimes web site 13 is:

Year TFR in CT TFR in U.S. Ratio of TFR: CT to US (in %) Years after SSM legalized
2004
58.8
66.3
88.7%
-4
2005
58.7
66.7
88.0
-3
2006
58.8
68.5
85.8
-2
2007
59.5
69.5
85.6
-1
2008
58.4
68.6
85.1
0
2009
56.5
66.7
84.7
1
2010
54.5
64.1
85.9
2
2011
54.3
63,2
85.9
3
2012
53.2
63.0
84.4
4


Conclusions:

The case presented by the lawyers is also shown to be false in Connecticut.

From the year 2004 -- four years before the state legalized SSM -- until 2012 -- four years after legalization, Connecticut's TFR varied within a range of 6.3 births/1,000 women within the ages of 15 to 44 years. The highest value was 59.5; the lowest was 53.2 births.

After 2008, the TFR decreased but not as fast as it did for the U.S. as a whole. In fact, Connecticut's TFR expressed as a percentage of the U.S. value actually increased after same-sex marriage was legalized. During 2010 and 2011 -- 2 and 3 years after SSM was legalized, the ratio of Connecticut to U.S. values increased by almost a percentage point. As for the situation in Massachusetts, the absolute values of TFR in Connecticut dropped, presumably due to the recession.

In graphical form:

TFR for Connecticut  2004-2012

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Did the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) values in Iowa drop after SSMs were legalized?:

During 2009, Iowa was the third state in the U.S. to make marriage available to same-sex couples. Yearly data is available for the state up to 2012, which is three years after SSM was legalized.

TFR data, from the March of Dimes web site 13 is:

Year TFR in IA TFR in U.S. Ratio of TFR: IA to US (in %) Years after SSM legalized
2005
65.4
66.7
98.1%
-4
2006
69.1
68.5
101.9
-3
2007
70.1
69.5
100.9
-2
2008
69.5
68.6
101.3
-1
2009
68.7
66.7
103.0
0
2010
67.1
64.1
104.7
1
2011
66.1
63,2
104.6
2
2012
66.8
63.0
106.0
3

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This topic continues in the next essay with conclusions
for Iowa, a pictorial, and general conclusions

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References used:

The following information source was used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Birth rate: Massachusetts and US, 2002-2012," March of Dimes, at: http://www.marchofdimes.com/

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How you may have arrived here:

Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality > Same-sex marriage > SSM sub-menu > Anti-SSM argument based on birth rate > here

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Copyright © 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
First posted: 2014-JUL-12
Latest update: 2014-JUL-14
Author: B.A. Robinson
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