## Child Abuse and Political PartiesL. David Roper(E-mail: roperld@vt.edu)

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(Go to data table at bottom.)

The child-abuse rate (number of reported children per 1000 children over 18 years of age) varies greatly among the states in the United States. (See table at end for 1996 rates.)

An interesting question to ask is: Is there any correlation between the child-abuse rate and the strength of the two political parties in the states?

I compared different state's child-abuse-rate (CAR) data for 1996 with the results of the 1996 presidential election for each state. (See table at end for votes in the 1996 election.) A correlation calculation yielded the following:

 Correlation Rate Democrat vote -0.205 Republican vote +0.140

That is, the Democratic votes for the states had a 21% negative correlation with increasing CAR and the Republican votes had a 14% positive correlation. States with high child-abuse death rate vote much more Republican than Democratic and vice versa.

 This is a plot of the child-abuse rate (CAR) sorted by rank of the states compared to the Democratic votes and the Republican votes. (See table at end for the data.) Also shown are linear fits to the two votes. This shows visually the positive correlation of CAR with the Republican vote and the negative correlation of CAR with the Democratic vote. Note that the four lowest CAR states are definitely Democratic and the highest two states are definitely Republican.

What can one conclude from these results? Whatever factors cause the large disparity for child-abuse rates between the various states also cause those states to tend to vote Republican. I believe that the main factors are:

• Capitalism rules: Every person looks after his own welfare, including his childrens'.
• Minimum government: Government is to stay out of the lives of people, including making sure that children are treated humanly.
• Low taxes: Keep the taxes as low as possible, leaving little to care for children.

My Republican native state, Oklahoma (rate=46.5), ranked 30 of 50 and my Republican adopted state, Virginia (rate=32.6), ranked 9 of 50 for increasing child-abuse rate in 1996.

 U.S. Child Abuse 1996 1996 election State Children in Reports Children under 18 Ratio Reported/1000 Democrat Republican Rank Pennsylvania 23666 2894676 8.2 49.2% 40.0% 1 Vermont 2561 146648 17.5 53.4% 31.1% 2 Hawaii 5384 306523 17.6 56.9% 31.6% 3 Minnesota 25435 1247008 20.4 51.1% 35.0% 4 Tennessee 34293 1322161 25.9 48.0% 45.6% 5 Texas 151261 5452277 27.7 43.8% 48.8% 6 New Hampshire 8337 295866 28.2 49.6% 39.6% 7 Maine 9616 299519 32.1 51.6% 30.8% 8 Virginia 53271 1631836 32.6 45.1% 47.1% 9 Washington 47631 1436804 33.2 49.8% 37.3% 10 Wisconsin 45479 1343034 33.9 48.8% 38.5% 11 New Jersey 67817 1986972 34.1 53.7% 35.9% 12 Alabama 39361 1076436 36.6 43.2% 50.1% 13 Utah 24857 678803 36.6 33.3% 54.4% 14 Louisiana 45981 1233455 37.3 52.0% 39.9% 15 Maryland 48160 1286190 37.4 54.3% 38.3% 16 Nebraska 16749 442186 37.9 35.0% 53.7% 17 Mississippi 29179 756134 38.6 44.1% 49.2% 18 Illinois 124129 3155905 39.3 54.3% 36.8% 19 Arizona 46716 1150186 40.6 46.5% 44.3% 20 South Carolina 39063 937765 41.7 44.0% 49.8% 21 Massachusetts 60199 1421929 42.3 61.5% 28.1% 22 North Dakota 7292 168643 43.2 40.1% 46.9% 23 Indiana 66097 1498524 44.1 41.6% 47.1% 24 South Dakota 9051 204156 44.3 43.0% 46.5% 25 Kansas 30552 687314 44.5 36.1% 54.3% 26 Georgia 87006 1952456 44.6 45.8% 47.0% 27 Iowa 32801 719339 45.6 50.3% 39.9% 28 Wyoming 6154 133275 46.2 36.8% 49.8% 29 Oklahoma 40916 880796 46.5 40.4% 48.3% 30 Oregon 39486 808406 48.8 47.2% 39.1% 31 Colorado 49867 997938 50.0 44.4% 45.8% 32 New York 236241 4540534 52.0 58.3% 30.0% 33 California 463072 8866413 52.2 51.1% 38.2% 34 Nevada 21838 416750 52.4 43.9% 42.9% 35 Florida 184442 3423067 53.9 48.0% 42.3% 36 Ohio 154202 2847841 54.1 47.4% 41.0% 37 Alaska 10100 184387 54.8 33.3% 50.8% 38 Delaware 9751 176015 55.4 51.8% 36.6% 39 North Carolina 102168 1833617 55.7 44.0% 48.7% 40 Michigan 142700 2537014 56.2 51.7% 38.5% 41 New Mexico 28661 501233 57.2 49.2% 41.9% 42 Arkansas 38211 659448 57.9 53.7% 36.8% 43 Missouri 83875 1394199 60.2 47.5% 41.2% 44 Rhode Island 14160 235283 60.2 59.7% 26.8% 45 Connecticut 49344 797950 61.8 52.8% 34.7% 46 West Virginia 26478 421933 62.8 51.5% 36.8% 47 Kentucky 60896 968660 62.9 45.8% 44.9% 48 Montana 17732 232751 76.2 41.3% 44.1% 49 Idaho 32496 348509 93.2 33.6% 52.2% 50