Fatter. Poorer. Shorter.

May 29, 2008, 6:11 am

Via Mark Thoma, this latest installment in Americans’ decreasing height. Whenever I mention this to a certain kind of person, they wave a hand and say, oh, it’s because of Latin American and Asian immigration.

But it’s not, if you remember the feature on Komlos in The New Yorker:

The obvious answer would seem to be immigration. The more Mexicans and Chinese there are in the United States, the shorter the American population becomes. But the height statistics that Komlos cites include only native-born Americans who speak English at home, and he is careful to screen out people of Asian and Hispanic descent. In any case, according to Richard Steckel, who has also analyzed American heights, the United States takes in too few immigrants to account for the disparity with Northern Europe.

We have bad habits and bad institutions. These bad habits and bad institutions have consequences.

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