Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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French Baby Boomlet?

The International Herald Tribune reports today that birth rates are up in France. The average number of births per woman of fertile age is now slightly more than two--whereas it is less than two in most of the rest of Europe. Many speculate that the reason for the increase has to do with immigration; i.e., the new babies are coming from new immigrants. The article disputes this--but admits that there is no reliable hard data to examine because France does not allow for the the inclusion of race or national origin in its official statistics.

On the other hand, while childbearing becomes more common it seems marriage is not. Many French heterosexuals are taking advantage of "civil union" arrangements, meant originally to meet the demands of homosexuals. These unions are up while marriages are down.

The article speculates that there are two big reasons for the increase: (1) generous maternity leave laws and (2) ". . , its 35-hour workweek. It has been suggested that the French have so much leisure now that they have found nothing more interesting to do with it than have babies, combining fun with demographic patriotism."

Weird. Scholars have often observed that one reason people used to have so many kids was because life was hard and many people were needed to do the work of the family. Industrialization made big families less necessary and, in fact, more expensive. But now we are asked to consider that there is so little work to do in France that people need to have more kids with whom to enjoy their many hours of leisure? I suggest these parents make the most of that leisure and create loads of good memories for their young bundles of joy. Those kids are going to have to live off of those memories when they grow up to toil on behalf of their aging socialist elders.

Discussions - 17 Comments


Kathryn posted on this story on rising French fertility rates the other day and interpreted it as a refutation of my book. Apparently, Mimi and Fifi and Yvette and Solange are lying back and thinking of la belle France, and in doing so telling Steyn to stick a croissant in his escargot and smoke it.

Au contraire, I think France’s rising fertility rate is confirmation of my thesis – that native Europeans have given up breeding and Islam is inheriting the Continent by default. If that’s the case, then as Muslims increase as a percentage of the population so that country’s fertility rate will improve.

Do Muslims generally correlate with healthy birth rates in Europe? Yes. The only nations on the continent breeding at replacement rate are Turkey, Azerbaijan and Albania.

Do significant minorities of Muslims improve fertility rates? Yes. Of all those Continental nations below replacement-rate fertility, the top breeders are the Macedonians, whose population is 30% Muslim, which happens to be the largest Muslim minority in a European nation. [I’ve excluded war-ravaged Bosnia from the analysis, as, pace Derbyshire, rubble causes (statistical) trouble.]

Well, okay, forget Macedonia and stick to western Europe.

Which country has the healthiest fertility rate? France.

Which country has the most Muslims? France.

Which country has the second healthiest fertility rate on the western end of the Continent? Denmark.

Which country has the second largest proportion of Muslims? Denmark.

Get the picture? Take France and its neighbors and rank them in order of healthiest fertility rates (2005 official Eurostat figures):

1) France
2) Netherlands
3) Belgium
4) Switzerland
5) Austria
6) Germany
7) Italy
8) Spain

Now rank them in order of highest proportion of Muslims (no central source, but compiled from national data, European Muslim groups, UN and State Dept figures):

1) France
2) Netherlands
3) Belgium
4) Switzerland
5) Austria
6) Germany
7) Italy
8) Spain


Yes, it is undoubtedly Muslim fertility that is boosting these fertility rates. The French (and most of the other Euros) as well as Americans are just stupid about replacing themselves (and about immigration). The children of those who bothered to have them will pay dearly for the selfish short-sightedness of their neighbors.

I agree that there’s no good French news here unless someone can show that the ethnic French are having more babies. The study doesn’t show that...

I have to point out again that you guys are equating "Muslim" with "Extremist Muslim." There is a difference. It’s like "American" and "Branch Davidian."

You don’t like it when non-ethnic French (as in Muslims, as in non-white French) have babies, Peter?

dain, maybe the French should start putting their Muslim populations onto trains and give themselves some lebensrau...errr..."breathing space", eh?

Trollboy, that’s exactly what should be done. The riots demonstrate that these people are not "digestible," and liberals like yourself make sure that our societies are so multiculturally-sensitive that they can no longer insist on assimilation. Trains that repatriate people beat the hell out of civil war and concentration camps, you dolt.

And Danny, we aren’t hearing much from "moderate Muslims," now are we? If these wonderous people can’t control their brethren, then of what use are they? They are simply the breeding ground for the jihad. We they begin to fight the long fight against this totalitarian nonsense in their midst, I’ll begin to feel better about Muslim immigration.

This sort of hate speech has no place in civilized discourse. Is your argument for forced deportation really that the only alternative is the concentration camp? I guess that would make gassing them the "Final Solution," right?

Daniel K., maybe that would be true if the Branch-Davidians had been preaching from most of the pulpits in America. They weren’t. They were exactly the anomalous entity you imply, which jihad-preaching imams are not.

Craig Scanlon, wasn’t it the case that the Muslim nations put their excess population on trains and sent them into Europe? It may not have been official policy, being rather a response to economic forces, but it happened.

Do you guys presuppose that Islamic jihad is not a problem for nations like France and the US? We are in a physical war and cultural war with the devout and orthodox in Islam. Sonny Steinberg, your extreme take on what dain said would be outside of civilized discourse. What he actually said would be also, IF we were all living at peace and the preservation of Western culture and values were not at stake. I read his suggestion as far less than the modernist "Modest Proposal" that you take it to be. If assimilation is not going to happen, then what is our alternative? Deportation of his "indigestibles" would be far better than the alternatives that I can see. Or do we settle into an uneasy accommodation with Islamic jihadists amongst us? How?

I don’t care about skin color. I like and understand the inclination of anyone to have children. However, I also love democracy, individual rights, freedom of worship, among other ideas you can extrapolate from my short list. I confess to being frightened of Sharia and if a shifting demographic brings that closer, then dain’s trains have appeal to me.

Oh, Sonny...more "argumentum ad hitlerum?" Name-calling isn’t argumentation. What’s your solution, boyo? Duke it out until either the French or the Muslims come out on top? More kinder-and-gentler crappola that won’t accomplish doodly-squat? Aggressive assimilation that will result in God-knows-what? You’re a dolt, just like trollboy (Hell, you probably are El Supremo Trollo...wouldn’t that be just like Scanlon...seconding his own lame comments?).

Well, how do you know that they’re not digestible, dain Bramaged? Maybe you should consider killing them and eating them. After all, if you just put them on a train and send them away, they’ll probably just start plotting terrorist attacks. Kill them and eat them and post the video of your feast online. Title it "here’s what happens when you don’t assimilate according to my specifications." That might get ’em nervous enough they’ll just start leaving of their own accord. If your government isn’t going to listen and refuses to nuke ’em all and let (the One True) God sort ’em out, this might be your best option.

Up yours, you Nazi piece of garbage! Your kind pushed my grandmother into the gas chamber at Auschwitz! You make me want to puke! NEVER AGAIN!

Dear SonnyTroll, my kind, quite literally, saved what was left of your sorry asses from the Nazis. My direct relatives fought in both theaters of WWII against fascism, and this is gratitude? As for the Muslims of Europe, the story isn’t going to end happily for someone...I think trains will start looking mighty good in a generation or so.

As for killing and eating people, I’m not the troll here. Now wipe the drool from your chin and go about your business (i.e., molesting small woodland creatures in your basement).

Huh??? Dain Bramaged - what do you mean that your kind "saved what was left of your sorry asses from the Nazis"? If you’re assuming I’m Jewish, you’re off base. I also like the "sorry asses" characterization. Gosh, as lowly as they were, I guess they were really lucky to have been rescued by the Bramaged clan! Were your "direct relatives" slightly tempted to just let Adolph have his way? And I note, yet again, that you’re breaking your earlier pledge to never respond to trolls - which is, obviously, what you consider me to be. You’re really not a man of your word, are you?

"Were your "direct relatives" slightly tempted to just let Adolph have his way?"

Of course they were! If it hadn’t been for us nasty Jews polluting the racial purity of the Germans there wouldn’t have been any Holocaust! But dain might quibble over methods; if Hitler had been able to herd us onto boxcars and send us somewhere else (Madagascar, maybe?) there wouldn’t have been need for all the messy shootings and gassings.

I guess there is no arguing with dolts...silly me.

In the immortal words of Fung the Moral Giant -- AMF.

dain Bramaged goes from:

"Name-calling isn’t argumentation."

to this:

"I guess there is no arguing with dolts..."


Yeah, he’s Mr. Reason and Mr. Science. Kind of like Mengele.

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