Thursday, August 31, 2006

Godless countries favor abortion: My international dataset is growing, so I hope to find some interesting patterns (at least interesting for nerds of my variety). I looked at the World Values Survey to see which countries are most pro-abortion, and this is the proportion of people who approve of an abortion if a woman does not want more children. (This variable correlates with favoring an abortion because mom is not married at .88, so results with either would be similar).

Proportion approving of an abortion because no more kids are wanted:

Sweden (1999) .86
Bulgaria (1999) .82
Germany East (1999) .77
Hungary (1999) .76
Czech Republic (1999) .76
Slovenia (1999) .75
Russian Federation (1999) .74
Denmark (1999) .72
Estonia (1999) .71
Belarus (2000) .68
Lithuania (1999) .65
Latvia (1999) .64
Ukraine (1999) .63
France (1999) .62
Croatia (1999) .60
Romania (1999) .57
Greece (1999) .55
Finland (2000) .54
Slovakia (1999) .52
Iceland (1999) .50
Netherlands (1999) .49
Germany West (1999) .49
Great Britain (1999) .49
Austria (1999) .45
Belgium (1999) .42
Turkey (2001) .41
Portugal (1999) .40
Poland (1999) .37
Luxembourg (1999) .36
Italy (1999) .31
Northern Ireland (1999) .18
Malta (1999) .16
Ireland (1999) .13

The pattern is very clear here: Protestant and Orthodox countries (which, in actuality, are likely to be irreligious) generally approve of abortion more than Catholic countries. (Hungary is an exception). This is no surprise, but Orthodoxy has the same basic view of abortion that Catholicism has. It clearly has less influence over the values of its adherents. I imagine the Soviets teaching children in school not to believe in God (or was that Dover MA where that happened?) might have something to do with that.

Across 33 countries, I calculated the correlation between the percent not believing in God and the share of people who favor abortion to control family size. It is .68: there is a strong connection here. I never liked abortion even when I was an atheist, but evidently as soon as God goes out, it's bring in the abortionist.


  1. Anonymous8:20 AM

    In this context, religion is a selection gradient. The religious carry beliefs which encourage producing more offspring.

  2. Anonymous10:02 AM

    Go Eire! Decent birthrates, anti-abortion, good economy, and a great spiritual people and culture. The beacon of vitality in europe.

  3. Anonymous3:20 PM

    If there is no God, all things are permitted.

    From the Homies Karamazov


  4. your correlations are just that...correlations. you can say absolutely nothing about causation. the number of firemen that show up to a burning building and the amount of damage done are correlated. does that mean that more damage is caused by more firemen showing up? of course not. more firemen show up to bigger fires...which in turn cause more damage. you might try and run some multivariate statistical analyses.

  5. correlations are just that...correlations. with such correlations you can say nothing about causality. you might try and do some kind of multivariate statistical analysis...

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