- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 28, 2001

While I agree with the point of view expressed in Suzanne Fields´ April 23 Op-Ed column, “The wages of illegitimacy,” and with your editorial “Very bad news for everyone” on the opposite page, there is one set of data that I question.

Mrs. Fields writes that “of the 1.3 million illegitimate births, 69.1 percent were to black women, 42.2 percent to Hispanics and 22.1 percent to non-Hispanic whites.” But among the variety of statistics you give in the editorial, you cite the following: “In 1999, 22 percent of births to non-Hispanic whites were out-of-wedlock, an astounding 68.9 percent of black births were out-of-wedlock for Hispanics the percentage of illegitimate births was 42.2 percent.”

It seems both accounts are reflecting the same set of data from the National Center for Health Statistics. But the analysis given in the two pieces is decidedly not the same.

To say that 42.2 percent of illegitimate births were to Hispanics is not the same as to say that 42.2 percent of Hispanic births were illegitimate. The same applies to the other two ethnic categories.

I think you should get your statistical analysis caps on straight.


JOHN SLOAN

Springfield


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