by Ed West
Monday, 16
November 2020
Spotted
15:44

Later-life marriage means fewer conservatives

This demographic trend was one of the key drivers in the 2020 election
by Ed West
there is reason to be optimistic for the future — if you’re a Democrat.

Whatever the disappointments of the US election, there is reason to be optimistic for the future — if you’re a Democrat, that is. For conservatives, it’s unending despair.

This was one conclusion from David Shor’s interview with New York Magazine, on why demographic trends favour the Left.

The data scientist, a rare example of someone who has done well from cancellation, observed that:

One big, really underappreciated social change is that, relative to 20 years ago, the average age of first marriage has gone up by almost a decade. Which is insane! And at the same time, fertility rates have dropped tremendously. I’m not going to comment on whether or not that’s good or bad in a nonpolitical context. But I think the reality is that Democrats are now going to claim a larger part of the life cycle.
- David Shor, New York Magazine

He continues:

We previously were going to start having people turn more conservative at 26. Now that’s been pushed up to 34 or 36. That’s actually very meaningful in terms of votes and in terms of how much longer we can expect millennials and zoomers to stay overwhelmingly Democratic. Also, zoomers actually seem to be incredibly liberal, even relative to older millennials, so far. So there’s reason for hope.
- David Shor, New York Magazine

Among all the US election voting data, which political nerds across the world drool over every four years, perhaps the most curious fact is the enormous voting gap between married and unmarried white women. Despite being as large as 20 points in some elections, it is also one of the least analysed, certainly compared to the much smaller gender gap (although the latter is growing, for related reasons).

Simply put, the more people in any society who are married with children, the more conservative that society will be.

Liberalism is about the freedom of the individual, while western conservatism is about maximising the success of the nuclear family. That is why western conservatism is fundamentally different from the “family values” of non-western traditions, which are about maximising the success of the extended family.

Both western conservatism and liberalism stem from the same WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialised, Rich and Democratic) cultural origins, but one has taken the idea of individualism further.

The marriage gap has been well-known for well over a decade but, as testimony to how ideas carry status and stigma, it is barely commented upon because of who first noticed it: controversial Californian blogger Steve Sailer.

The marriage gap also leads to the “dirt gap” — the more expensive the house prices, the more people vote for Left-of-centre parties, because housing costs suppress family-formation.

This is why runaway housing costs are an existential crisis for our own Conservative Party, building a bonfire under their future election prospects as the younger generation move Left. (It is also the subject of my book, the paperback of which will be out in January.)

Lucky, then, that the only person in Number 10 who appreciated the enormity of the housing crisis problem hasn’t just resigned.

Join the discussion


  • Most people are still married or on the housing ladder by 40, just the age of voting for conservatives is older as a result (though even so the age of voting for conservatives both here and in the US is still younger now than under Blair and Obama for example when only voters over 50 voted Tory or GOP). However in the US liberal means leftwing, it does not mean economically classical liberal as in Europe

  • Sensible article – conservatives are a doomed breed and deservedly so. They fail to recognise that politics is downstream of culture and not the other way around. If you make it impossible to lead a conservative lifestyle, let’s say for simplicity’s sake: savings not debt, ownership over renting, settled vs nomadic, community over self-advancement, children over barrenness/pets, marriage over pleasure/fulfillment, vows over whims, self-reliance over dependance, stable employment over temping; then the conditions for these things must be reasonably attainable and incentivised for a substantial majority of the population. At present, it increasingly is not. Laissez-faire capitalism and globalism, totally accepted and pushed by our ‘right-wingers’, actually wipes out their own voting base. Sad but these trends were obvious decades ago, and they did nothing.

  • San Francisco, New York, All democrat controlled cities had bigger Riots &defunding the Police, Hypocritical democrats,When asked why they are leaving these cities, drug problems,Mugging,Looting move to more Republican States,and carry their ”Woke” ideology with them

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