Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Maps of white teen birthrate and abortion rates by state   posted by Razib @ 1/27/2010 08:55:00 PM

A supplement to the previous two posts. Below are maps which are shaded proportionally. Note how New York seems to be the abortion capital of the USA. Total surprise to me. Remember that these data are for white females from the ages of 15-19.


Red State, Blue State, Teen Birthrate, Teen Abortion rate   posted by Razib @ 1/27/2010 07:58:00 PM

A reader pointed to this post in Free Exchange:
Here are the 15 states with the biggest percentage drop from 1988-2005 in the ratio of teen abortions—the percentage of teen pregnancies that ended in abortion, not counting miscarriages. Crudely put, these are the states where pregnant white teens stopped having abortions between 1988-2005.

1. Kentucky
2. Nebraska
3. Arkansas
4. Oklahoma
5. South Dakota
6. Tennessee
7. Kansas
8. Iowa
9. Texas
10. North Dakota
11. Alabama
12. Indiana
13. Missouri
14. North Carolina
15. Utah

I have 2008 exit poll data handy by state, as well as the 2005 birth and abortion data. Abortion ratio = (Abortion rate)/(Abortion rate + Birthrate); basically pregnancy rate minus miscarriages. "Teen" here defines females in the age range 15-19. As you'd expect:

1) Whites voting Democrat is correlated with lower white birthrates
2) Whites voting Democrat is correlated with higher white abortion rates
3) Whites voting Democrat is correlated with higher white abortion ratios

#3 is stronger than #2, and I believe that's because teen pregnancy rates are lower in areas where whites are strongly Democrat, so the abortion rates are also going to be lower. The abortion ratio is somewhat normalized to pregnancy rate.


Teen birthrates and abortion rates   posted by Razib @ 1/27/2010 02:46:00 PM

The New York Times has a new article, After Long Decline, Teenage Pregnancy Rate Rises. The graphic is OK, but it focuses on aggregate teen pregnancy rates (age group 15-19) instead of splitting it out so as to show births and abortions. The original report is chock full of tables, but not the charts I was looking for. So I decided to go ahead and create them. All the "teen" data is for the 15-19 age range. The trends are a bit difference from that in the chart because I split up births and abortions, and also added in "abortion ratio," which simply illustrates the proportion of pregnancies which result in abortions excluding miscarriage and stillbirths. The other rates are per 1,000 of females of the given age range. First, the overall trends by time, broken out by race & ethnicity. White = Non-Hispanic white in all that follows.

Since Latinos have high birthrates, so surprise that their abortion rate is higher than whites. On the other hand, the relatively low abortion ratio vis-a-vis white teens points to some cultural expectations among this group which we'd expect from Roman Catholics (though more generally Catholics don't differ much from Protestants in the United States in regards to abortion, so I think that this is less causal than correlated).

There is also state level data, though it is spotty in regards to abortions. I decided to see if the different groups tracked each other in regards to rates. Here's what I found:

White Birthrate – Black Birthrate 0.41 0.17
White Birthrate – Hispanic Birthrate 0.44 0.19
Black Birthrate – Hispanic Birthrate 0.42 0.18

White Abortion rate – Black Abortion rate 0.6 0.36
White Abortion rate – Hispanic Abortion rate 0.79 0.62
Black Abortion rate – Hispanic Abortion rate 0.8 0.64

White Abortion rate – White Birthrate -0.44 0.19
Black Abortion rate – Black Birthrate 0.01 0
Hispanic Abortion rate – Hispanic Birthrate -0.07 0

And the scatterplots, as well as some dot plots which show the ratio of the rates of two minority groups, as a function of geography.

Looking closely at the data it seems that that local state law/and/or/culture matters a lot for teen abortion ratios. Vermont for example has a very high abortion ratio. Might look at it later....

Note: I excluded DC from the state level analysis because it's a bizarre outlier. White teen birthrates of 1 per 1,000, black & Hispanic above 100.