An innovative approach to explaining African American fertility decline in the US




Sansone, Gregory M.

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African American Fertility decline has been linked to factors such as education, the justice system, improved economic opportunities, and later marrying age. However, this paper intends to support the idea that the theoretical ideas of Thomas Malthus & Herbert Spencer in reference to government funded subsidies (welfare), are the reason for high fertility between 1964 and 1996 and subsequent decline post 1996. Welfare has been criticized as creating the single mother phenomenon by releasing men from their obligation. It has also been criticized for its use in creating immobile African American offshoots from society. Yet, very little has addressed the implications of Malthus and Spencer's ideologies on poor laws in relation to this phenomenon. This paper using fertility data for African American population's pre and post welfare reform provides an informative look at the implications of misguided assistance on the population.


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African American, Fertility, Malthus, Spencer