Ross Douthat, writes an interesting column on the NYT today. It's basically a book review for book by Naomi Cahn and June Carbone, entitled "Red Families v. Blue Families: Legal Polarization and the Creation of Culture."
I haven't read the book, but it's on my Amazon wishlist now. This is a topic I'm extremely interested in. As incomprehensible to me as right wingers, and their views are, I've always been interested to see from whence they came, and what effect it has on themselves and their families. This book seems to address this question adrioitly.
The book seems to nail my own demographic. Older, well-educated, northeast couple, has one child. (of course--it's more complicated than that, but this ravingleftatic is anonymous!) That goes for my parent's generation, and my own. I've always argued that education is the answer to world over-population, though I read an article recently that indicated the world's population already peaked, and will likely decline in the next thirty years. I can't swear to it, it was one article, based on one book, but it was interesting.
Regardless, Douthat points out some interesting trends from the Carbone Cahn book. For example, teen pregnancy rates are pretty much the same in Connecticut as they are in Montana, but the rate of abortions is twice as high. This dispels the idea that education keeps kids from having unprotected sex, but the lower divorce and single-parent rates, are much lower, suggesting that access to proper birth control (including but not limited to abortion) have exactly the effect that they are intended to produce.
Population statistics aside, I'd really like to know more about the middle of the country than I do. I have, admittedly, a very serious bias, based purely on my window to the world (the internet.) Most of the people I know from the midwest (and south) moved here because they hated it. Again--not a valid sample!