Visit this post on my site: Reanalysis: How Many Children do the Seventy Have?

This post is an update of my previous analysis of the number of children of the seventy. The following table includes all 69 members of the 1st Quorum of the Seventy (as of 10/04/2013) sorted by age, youngest to oldest. You can click on a name to be taken to a short biographical sketch for each member of the Seventy.

In order to start breaking down these data I think it is important to investigate some basic information about the numbers. First, the range of children is 1-12, meaning the fewest number of children is 1 and the most is 12. The total number of children of the 69 members of the Presidency of the Seventy and First Quorum of the Seventy is 361. This gives a mean number of children as 5.23 (s.d. = 1.85) with a median of 5 and a mode (most common number) of 5. Because all these values are basically the same, it is a good indicator that the distribution of the data is roughly normal. A quick calculation of the skewness and kurtosis reveals that this is the case: skewness = 0.80, kurtosis = 1.71. The data are “normal” enough to warrant further parametric analyses.

For those who prefer graphical representations here’s a bar chart (click on it for a larger image) sorted differently than the table above with most senior Seventy (not necessarily the oldest) at the bottom. A number of children X seniority trend does not seem obvious.

Now, sorting the Seventy by age yields a graph with what looks like an age X children interaction but before I start that analysis, I need to provide a little background information.

There appear to be about two outliers (one Seventy with 1 child and one with 12 children). However, I will include them in the analyses because I have sampled the entire population of living, non-emeritus members of the First Quorum of the Seventy (and Presidency of the Seventy, who were all members of the First Quorum of Seventy before their calls to the Presidency) so removing a couple Seventy (3% of the sample) just because they might be outliers would be misleading about the distribution of the actual population (i.e., the sample is the entire population).

Now back to the bar graph of the number of children of the Seventy when the Seventy are sorted by age. Now it looks like there might be a difference in the number of children between the oldest and youngest Seventies. When I correlated year born with year called as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, there was – no surprise – a significant (nonparametric) correlation (rho = 0.317, p=.008). This was run as nonparametric due to non-normality of distributions of year called. Because there is not a perfect correlation, the change to sorting by age rather than seniority seemed to make a qualitative difference. Now is there a quantitative difference in number of children between the oldest and youngest Seventies?

There is a significant correlation between age and number of children (r = 0.44, p < 0.001). That’s quite a bit higher a correlation coefficient compared to the one I found a few years ago with my original analysis (r = 0.27). Here’s a scatter plot of age X # of children with the trend line shown.

Now I’ll create two groups using a median current age split. The median current age is 60 years old. With this split there are 33 Seventies in the younger group and 36 in the older group (there was an even number of 60 year old Seventies so I put half into each group). Running an independent samples t-test yields a significant result (mean of younger group = 4.73, mean of older group = 5.69; t=-2.23, p = 0.03). Again, age seems to be a factor in the number of children that the Seventies have. When correlating number of children with how many years the Seventies have been a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, there is a nonsignificant result (r = 0.02, p = 0.89). Therefore we can with some certainty rule out seniority (this just means age does not really enter in to when men are called into the First Quorum of the Seventy).

Now is it just age? When we enter whether or not the member of the First Quorum of the Seventy was born in the U.S. (29/69 were born outside the U.S.), we see a significant group difference in number of children (t = -4.24, p < 0.001) with those born outside the U.S. having fewer children (mean = 4.24, s.d. = 1.19) than those who were born in the U.S. (mean = 5.95, s.d. 1.92). So the U.S. average is nearly 6 and the non-U.S. average is just over 4. Those born outside the U.S. are significantly younger than those born within the U.S. (t = -2.01, p = 0.05) with non-U.S. mean = 58.72 (s.d. = 5.52) and U.S. mean = 61.28 (s.d. = 4.96).

To remove the effect of place of origin by splitting the Seventies into non-U.S. born and U.S. born I’ll run correlational analyses to see if the age X children relationship still exists. Within the non-U.S. born group it does (r = 0.42, p = 0.03). The same is true within the U.S.-born group (r = 0.39, p = 0.01). So age really has a significant relationship with number of children both within and without the U.S. (these results differ significantly from my analyses 3.5 years ago).

What does this all mean? It means that as time goes by, younger members of the 1st Quorum of the Seventy are having fewer children (but they still have almost 5 children apiece). There is also the effect of whether or not a Seventy was born in the U.S. since those who were not born in the U.S. have fewer children than those born within the U.S. In any case, age seems to be the driving factor at this point (meaning younger have fewer children). This means within the leadership of the Church we see a similar downward trend in the number of children over time (but the Seventy still have many more children than is the norm in the world).

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