Religion and family size

so, during the Slate Political Gabfest last week, David Plotz was speculating, based on anecdotal personal experience, about the relationship between religiosity and family size.  “There’s not any atheists with a bunch of kids are there?” Or something along those lines he asked.  He then lamented the lack of any figures on the matter.  Of course, I realized I already had a number of these variables coded and could pull them up in recent General Social Survey data.  Yes, some atheists have a good handful of kids, but certainly not many.  I think the corner cells are most interesting: only 19% of very religious people have no children in contrast to 44% of the non-religious.  As for having four or more, this is the case for nearly a quarter of the most religious, but only 5% of the non-religious.  As for me, I’d put myself in the moderately religious (though, I think secularly-oriented, regular church attender might be more accurate), 4 or more box.


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

One Response to Religion and family size

  1. itchy says:

    Interesting, but too bad the middle category is so broad. Depending on what we’re trying to measure, I imagine there’s a big difference between one child and three. At least, I think my life would be much different if I had two more.

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