Living alone in higher percentages in Rust Belt cities

Living alone is not limited to young singles: some Rust Belt cities have higher percentages (compared to the national figures of 27% of single households) of older single households.

Pittsburgh, former capital of the nation’s steel industry, has seen its population drop by more than half to about 306,000 since 1950, according to the 2010 Census. The government said 41.7 percent of households consist of one person, the sixth-highest rate in the nation…Now, about one in eight Pittsburgh households is occupied by a single elderly person, the fifth highest among U.S. cities. Russell said a significant share of the single households consist of elderly women, whom he calls “Rust-Belt babushkas.”…

In the Census data, Atlanta and Washington were tied at 44 percent for the highest percentage of one-person households.

Cincinnati ranked third in the nation with 43.4 percent of its 133,420 households consisting of single people. In 1900, Cincinnati was the nation’s 10th largest city, with a population of about 326,000. In 2010, it was the 62nd largest, with about 297,000.

The city’s relatively high number of singles is probably the result of families leaving for suburbs starting in the 1970s, combined with an influx of young professionals to the central city, where University of Cincinnati and Xavier University students also live, said Jeffrey Timberlake, an associate sociology professor at the former.

This reminds me of Eric Klinenberg’s earlier book Heat Wave that looked at the implications of the elderly living alone in Chicago. There are large social forces at work that can lead to certain communities having larger populations of elderly single people.

My thought: the implication here is that Sunbelt cities (South and West) don’t have as large single populations. What is the primary reason for this: the cities simply aren’t as old and they haven’t seen these cycles of population that the Rust Belt cities have experienced? Is it because Sunbelt cities don’t have some of the same kinds of dense urban neighborhoods and downtowns (and instead have more sprawl)? Are these cities more attractive to families (certain kinds of jobs, values, lower crime rates, more single-family homes in suburban subdivisions, etc.)?

One firm look at a particular subset of singles (they “restricted its analysis to single, widowed, and divorced women age 25-64. Without this cap on the age range, places with higher concentrations of elderly people would show a misleading number of single women.”) argues these are the 10 US cities with the smaller percentages of singles:

People tend couple up more in the smaller towns, though there are big city outliers like Edison, NJ, and Nassau-Suffolk metro area in New York. Many places that view themselves as traditional boast marriage rates above the national average.

A few college cities buck the trend of having more singles. North Carolina cities, Raleigh and Charlotte–each home to a university with more than 20,000 students–are in the bottom 25% by percentage of singles.

Logan, UT, and Provo, UT, both have fewer than 20% singles, the lowest in the country. Texas cities McAllen and Laredo have similarly low numbers of single people.

See their statistics for the 100 biggest US cities here. Since Pittsburgh and Cincinnati are so much further down this list, it suggests that those Rust Belt cities have larger percentages of elderly singles.


Moms in TV advertisements buy products for the good of their families

Two sociologists argue that a majority of mothers in TV commercials buy products for the good of their children:

Nearly two-thirds of mothers featured in ads on prime time Canadian television are “intensive” moms who buy products solely for the good of the family, while non-mothers were more likely to be portrayed as independent free agents, enjoying themselves far more, a new analysis has found.

The lion’s share of mothers were shown to be “organized, informative and in control,” and always purchasing the product for the benefit of their children, according to University of Toronto sociology researchers Kim de Laat and Shyon Baumann, who combed through 68 television ads…

But Ms. de Laat and Mr. Baumann say the advertising they studied is promoting “sacrificial consumption” — a term they coined to describe the act of buying products primarily for the care of others, rather than for self-care.

“It’s only been within the past 20 to 25 years that we’ve seen increasing emphasis solely on the children to the point where women are supposed to derive satisfaction from all of this caregiving,” said Ms. de Laat, a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto.

“Sacrificial consumption” is an interesting phrase but it isn’t a new idea. I’m reminded of the research of Viviana Zelizer (in Morals & Markets) regarding how the once controversial product life insurance came to be viewed as a necessary and sacrificial product that would provide for one’s family. What might be new here is the idea that these commercials are tying motherhood, a social role, to a particular action, providing for children. It attaches a different idea to products: if you’re family needs the product or would at least benefit, whatever money that needs to be spent is well-spent. Being a good mother means buying the “needed” products, not necessarily providing love, support, time, or attention. Do these commercials work by guilting people into action (i.e, “I’m not a good mother unless I do this”)? I wonder how this ties in with the whole idea of “concerted cultivation” where middle- and upper-class parents look to give their kids advantages (including necessary products?).

Is sacrificial consumption used effectively to sell products to other groups? Can you imagine such marketing aimed at men/fathers?

Building houses designed for blended families

Architects, real estate agents, and builders are adjusting to selling more homes to blended families:

“More and more people are getting divorced, especially in Paris and its suburbs. We have many customers in this situation. We try to interest them in a certain type of home,” admits Alexandre Colleu, a real estate agent working in suburbia. In France, one out of five children live in a blended family. In Switzerland, more than 22,000 divorces were granted in 2010; the figure has been increasing steadily for the past few years. “Separations are increasing, but so is the speed at which couples find new partners. They are not a market yet, but they’re a target population,” confirms Yankel Fijalkow, author of The Sociology of Housing. “Real estate agents have now found a way of selling homes that would be too expensive for a single family,” he notes. At the National Architecture School in Paris, where Fijalkow teaches, masters-builders and architects are working on the issue: “They are studying the housing models of countries from countries where people live with their extended family rather than within nuclear families,” Professor Fijalkow explains.

Each blended family is different. Some homes are organized so that each generation has their own space– whereas in other houses, people are separated according to family groups. Let’s go back to the aforementioned “nine-room house”. The estate agent describes it: “It is made of two detached houses linked by a footbridge. The couple who wants to preserve their newly-found intimacy can live in one house, and the children in the other. Also, children of blended families are often teenagers who appreciate the idea of having their own private space,” he adds.

Sibrine Durnez, an architect in the Belgian city of Liège, has designed a house with two very separate levels. “The parents did not want to live in a sad, empty house on the weeks when they don’t have custody of their children. So from their floor, they can’t see the kids’ rooms. They also wanted all the children’s bedrooms to be exactly the same size, to avoid jealousy,” she explains, adding that her firm mostly designs small houses for single-parent families.

Other families chose to allocate a part of the house to each “clan,” where they share some rooms but sometimes have two different front doors. The most radical version of this is a perfectly symmetrical house, with a double kitchen and a double living room, which can be separated or joined according to the mood of the day. “It’s important to be able to spend time with each other, but it’s also important to be able to ‘avoid’ each other,” Yankel Fijalkow explains.

This sounds like an interesting adaptation to the Going Solo world: even in families where adults have decided to live together, the emphasis in these homes is on private space where each individual can adjust to the changing family circumstances.

It would be really interesting to hear from families that live in these homes. Does the design help promote family togetherness? In other words, is it more important to simply have the different family members living in the same dwelling than interacting on a regular basis within the dwelling? What happens if families grow closer together and want more common space – do they have to move?

Conservative viewpoint: Biggest change in modern society is “the entry of women into the labor market”

Here is an interesting summary of what conservatives think is the biggest change in American society over the last half century:

The single most important economic and sociological change in our society in modern times has been the entry of women into the labor market. Today, three of every four women of working age are in the labor market — more than double the share a half century ago.

These changes have had a major impact on family life. Less than one out of every four households is “traditional,” with one wage-earner and a stay-at-home spouse. Dual-earner families — with both spouses in the labor market — now constitute more than half of all married couples.

A few quick thoughts:

1. This commentary on the effects of family life really picked up in the 1960s with the Moynihan Report and the “culture of poverty” thesis.

2. The family has changed quite a bit since the 1950s with more children today born to unmarried parents and more people living alone. However, was the 1950s family quite unusual (the product of a postwar economic boom plus the return of servicemen) compared to families in the last few hundred years?

3. Some women did always work, particularly in lower-class families, because their income was needed. Granted, the number of women who work has risen since the mid-1900s.

4. Behind this seems to be the assumption that the nuclear family is the fundamental building block of society. A society with weak families will be a weak society.

The church should respond to Going Solo

In Going Solo (a summary of the argument here), Eric Klinenberg documents a growing trend in American social life: more and more people are living alone. As I read this book and thought through the idea that this is an unusual trend in human history, I was somewhat surprised that there was very little about a religious approach to this issue. Klinenberg mentions at a few places how a few “singletons” are sustained by their faith and how a few religious organizations are serving elderly singletons but there is no bigger mention of how religious faiths address this issue. Although I don’t study this area, I believe this is a golden opportunity for evangelicals and others in the church to respond to this growing trend. Here are a few thoughts about the issue at hand and how churches can begin to tackle the issue.

Many churches, particularly the average evangelical church, are built around the family. Many programs are geared toward kids and families. Sermons are much more likely to be about family relationships that about living alone. In my own experience, you often don’t “fit” in these churches unless you are married and have kids. Even being married is not enough: I’ve felt this in multiple churches, that you aren’t fully a participant unless you have children who are involved in kid’s ministries. If I didn’t volunteer to serve or seek out relationships, simply being part of a married couple isn’t going to get me far. While we have been invited to some events and groups, we have rarely been invited to the house of a couple who has kids. (I am more than willing to admit that this may have more to do with me than my family status.)

This is not just a feature of the church. As Klinenberg points out, the societal expectation is that people will get married and have children. Not following that course leads to questions and sometimes bewilderment. I’ve heard the idea from others that having children allows one to more easily make connections with other adults. For example, having kids in school or in a neighborhood means that parents will inevitably meet other parents as their children interact. Without children (or perhaps a pet?), it can be difficult to strike up conversations even with people we see on a regular basis in the neighborhood, in public places, or at church.

I’ve thought at times that some churches verge on placing families higher than God. Which one is mentioned more? What are the subtle and not-so-subtle messages broadcast to people who attend? I wonder how much of this is driven by a perceived demographic need, a feeling among evangelicals that the best way to continue our churches and our faith is to raise children in this faith. A great example of this is a supposed statistic sociologist Christian Smith pointed out a few years ago: “only 4 percent of today’s teenagers would be evangelical believers by the time they became adults.” As Smith notes, this statistic is not true but it fits a mindset where there is a continuous battle between evangelicals and the rest of the world. One of the best ways to fight back is to have children who will continue the fight. Of course, Smith’s later work in books like Souls In Transition suggests that parents do indeed matter for a lasting religiosity.

While supporting marriage and families is a good thing (though I am reminded of sociologist Mark Regnerus’ arguments several years ago in an article titled “The Case for Early Marriage“), this leaves a lot of people out: younger adults, the widowed, the divorced, the separated, those who haven’t married. A common message is that once you leave these categories and get married, you are “normal” in the church’s eyes. Otherwise, you are more on the margin.

One possible solution to some of these issues is to have more intergenerational classes and activities. Churches often group people by life stages, often literally separating groups from the main activities from the church (like in youth groups). I’ve never been a fan of this: both personally and as a sociologist, I see a lot of value in interacting with and learning from those who have more experience and wisdom than I do. There is much to be gained by building relationships with those who are experiencing similar issues related to age but it also emphasizes certain landmarks. For example, singles’ ministries or small groups based on childless couples can be odd in that the unstated goal is to leave these groups. Why not treat people as whole people who can learn from other whole people rather than pushing ourselves into easily defined and sorted groups? Simply worshiping together in a large service doesn’t lead to deeper relationships in the way that consistent intergenerational interaction can.

Another possible solution is to broaden the focus away from nuclear families and to a more expansive definition of “families” and “neighbors.” This does not have to look like the final scene from the movie About A Boy where the lonely teenager Marcus and the lonely middle-aged man Will have found a group of people they like and that like them who they now define as their “family.” Rather, this could and should include people we wouldn’t immediately gravitate to, people who aren’t necessarily easy to make initial connections with. We can be reminded that the suburban nuclear family that many churches are built around is a relatively recent invention in human history. The Biblical characters we uphold in church would have seen themselves as part of larger families, clans, and tribes. As historian Robert Fishman points out in Bourgeois Utopias, William Wilberforce and friends, renowned persons of faith, contributed to this in the late 1700s by moving their families to one of the first Western suburbs, Clapham outside of London, in order to preserve their wives and children from the evils of the city (much more could be said about this topic). Retreating to a suburban family life with limited contact with the world may limit some dangers but it might also introduce some others.

Third, this trend presents a chance for the church to push for and truly live out the ideals of “community, ” a word oft discussed in Christian circles but much harder to put into practice. What does this really look like? How many people are really striving for this? Or is it something that tends to come up in times of trouble? Even further, Klinenberg argues that behind the trend of living alone are American cultural values are self-reliance and individualism. Neither of these are Christian virtues and yet we Americans need to be reminded, as one of my former pastors was fond of saying, “there are no solo Christians.” This broader Christian community should care for all, just as the sociologist Rodney Stark argues the early Christians effectively did. Sure, this is an uphill battle in a world of many single-family homes, cars, long work hours, and growing opposition to organized religion but it is a battle worth fighting.

In sum, this is an opportunity for Christians to uphold values of marriage and family while also addressing the trends of American social life toward singleness. It will not be enough for churches to argue that people should simply get married and then support those people. In dealing with issues like loneliness and searching for meaning that Klinenberg suggests are common along those living alone (and frankly, most people), the church should be leading the way. The church can be a place where close relationships with others are created and nurtured. The church can challenge ideas about self-reliance and independence, ideas about having to be tough to face the world as solitary people. If there is any place where the single and married, young and old, people of different classes, races, and ages should be able to come together, it should be in the places that claim that “God so loved the world” and whose followers are called to “love their neighbors as themselves.”

Elderly co-housing in France an alternative to Going Solo in the United States?

While Americans may be increasingly living alone, Le Monde reports on another trend: co-housing among the elderly.

This unconventional but pragmatic solution is happening all over France – dozens of house-shares have already been created, and they are giving food for thought to many in their 60s, 70s and 80s…

According to Yankel Fijalkow, urban sociologist and author of “Sociologie du Logement” [Sociology of Housing], “House-sharing for the elderly is a sort of group response to the ambient individualism.” Fijalkow says. “It is part of the same phenomenon as co-housing – houses with shared facilities – in Northern Europe and the United States or housing cooperatives. Faced by the fragility of the family unit, a desire emerges to recreate a quasi-family.”

But Fijalkow adds: “Let’s not be idealistic. Accommodation is expensive, and this is mostly a commercial transaction. With the current changes in family models, we go from being part of a couple to living on our own or in a house-share. People are flexible and adapt when the housing market is prohibitively expensive.”…

This system is being adopted all over Europe. Colocation Seniors, an organization in the western French city of Nantes was inspired by a similar project in Belgium, and has already helped dozens of seniors set up house-shares in the last three years, offering continuing support even after the house-share has been organized.

It is hard to know from this article how big of a trend this really is.

It is interesting to hear Fijalkow talk about these two motivating factors: a desire to have a “quasi-family” and economic realities. Which of these are more important? Does this suggest that people with more economic resources would not choose co-housing? It is already a foregone conclusion in many places that most families are fragile and/or past the breaking point?

This also reminds of the end of Kate Bolick’s article “All the Single Ladies” from November 2011. Here is where Bolick ends her thoughts on current relationships between women and men – a tour of a sort of dormitory for single women in Amsterdam:

The Begijnhof is big—106 apartments in all—but even so, I nearly pedaled right past it on my rented bicycle, hidden as it is in plain sight: a walled enclosure in the middle of the city, set a meter lower than its surroundings. Throngs of tourists sped past toward the adjacent shopping district. In the wall is a heavy, rounded wood door. I pulled it open and walked through.

Inside was an enchanted garden: a modest courtyard surrounded by classic Dutch houses of all different widths and heights. Roses and hydrangea lined walkways and peeked through gates. The sounds of the city were indiscernible. As I climbed the narrow, twisting stairs to Ellen’s sun-filled garret, she leaned over the railing in welcome—white hair cut in a bob, smiling red-painted lips. A writer and producer of avant-garde radio programs, Ellen, 60, has a chic, minimal style that carries over into her little two-floor apartment, which can’t be more than 300 square feet. Neat and efficient in the way of a ship, the place has large windows overlooking the courtyard and rooftops below. To be there is like being held in a nest.

We drank tea and talked, and Ellen rolled her own cigarettes and smoked thoughtfully. She talked about how the Dutch don’t regard being single as peculiar in any way—people are as they are. She feels blessed to live at the Begijnhof and doesn’t ever want to leave. Save for one or two friends on the premises, socially she holds herself aloof; she has no interest in being ensnared by the gossip on which a few of the residents thrive—but she loves knowing that they’re there. Ellen has a partner, but since he’s not allowed to spend the night, they split time between her place and his nearby home. “If you want to live here, you have to adjust, and you have to be creative,” Ellen said. (When I asked her if starting a relationship was a difficult decision after so many years of pleasurable solitude, she looked at me meaningfully and said, “It wasn’t a choice—it was a certainty.”)

When an American woman gives you a tour of her house, she leads you through all the rooms. Instead, this expat showed me her favorite window views: from her desk, from her (single) bed, from her reading chair. As I perched for a moment in each spot, trying her life on for size, I thought about the years I’d spent struggling against the four walls of my apartment, and I wondered what my mother’s life would have been like had she lived and divorced my father. A room of one’s own, for each of us. A place where single women can live and thrive as themselves.

How modern societies reconcile aging and individualism will be very interesting to watch.

Why more Americans are living alone

A new book by sociologist Eric Klinenberg tries to explain why more American are living alone:

Despite these risks, more and more people all over the world have decided that living alone is their best option. In the United States, 31 million people—one in seven adults—live alone, accounting for a remarkable 28% of households. That’s up from just 9% in 1950. Americans may think of themselves as uniquely self-reliant, thanks perhaps to Emerson, but the trend is even more pronounced in other affluent countries…

Why are people making this choice? For the many women who outlive their husbands, healthy single older men are scarce. Young and old alike, meanwhile, recognize that family togetherness, when it is not wonderful, can be conflict-ridden and downright awful. Roommates, at any age, hold little appeal. Not least, people go solo because they can afford it. Living alone is a luxury good that, like the purchase of a car or the increased consumption of meat, flourishes in societies that have become affluent.

But people also seem motivated by a loss of faith in the very idea of family. Mr. Klinenberg quotes Joseph Schumpeter’s observation that, as soon as people stop taking traditional arrangements for granted, “they cannot fail to become aware of the heavy personal sacrifices that family ties and especially parenthood entail.” Or as the sociologist Andrew Cherlin puts it, today “one’s primary obligation is to oneself rather than to one’s partner and children.”…

Most important, perhaps, is the increased value we place on autonomy. Since Dr. Spock, mothers and infants have departed from the age-old practice of sleeping together, and middle-class babies are now often placed in their own rooms. Swelling home sizes made this possible; from 1960 to 1980, the ratio of bedrooms to children in the average U.S. family rose to 1.1 from 0.7, so that nowadays parents and kids are rarely together in the same room—even for eating. Students increasingly expect a private room at college. Assuming that they do share quarters for a while after graduation, the move to an apartment of one’s own is now, writes Mr. Klinenberg, “the crucial turning point between second adolescence and becoming an adult.”

The review suggests Klinenberg thinks is a lasting trend but we’ll have to wait and see. What would it take for people to reverse the trend and have more people living in households or to want to take on the responsibility of having a family?

Perhaps Klinenberg doesn’t have the data to address this but I wonder how much people living alone interact with others – are they more involved in organizations, have higher levels of civic engagement, are more involved with others online, etc.?

It is interesting to think about this on college campuses – does anyone have numbers about how many college students do live in single rooms or how many would like to? Of course, few college students have ever lived with others in the same room when they arrive on campus so outside of marriage, this may be the only “normal” time for this to happen. If living in single rooms becomes a norm on campus, does this significantly alter the college experience?

Downward trend: 51% of American adults are married

In the continuation of a sizable demographic shift over the last few decades, fewer adult Americans than ever before are married:

Barely half of all adults in the United States—a record low—are currently married, and the median age at first marriage has never been higher for brides (26.5 years) and grooms (28.7), according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census data.

In 1960, 72% of all adults ages 18 and older were married; today just 51% are. If current trends continue, the share of adults who are currently married will drop to below half within a few years. Other adult living arrangements—including cohabitation, single-person households and single parenthood—have all grown more prevalent in recent decades.

The Pew Research analysis also finds that the number of new marriages in the U.S. declined by 5% between 2009 and 2010, a sharp one-year drop that may or may not be related to the sour economy…

It is beyond the scope of this analysis to explain why marriage has declined, except to note that it has declined far less for adults with college educations than among the less educated. Some of the increase in the median age at first marriage over the long term can be explained by the rising share of young adults enrolled in college, who have tended to marry later in life; recently, there are indications that adults who are not college graduates also are marrying later. Fallout from the Great Recession may be a factor in the recent decrease in newlyweds, although the linkage between marriage rates and economic hard times is not entirely clear.

There are a number of charts here regarding more specific bits of information. The most interesting statistic here, in my opinion: marriage is affected by educational status.

What the article doesn’t talk about is what the alternative to marriage is or is becoming. Single-parenthood? Cohabitation? Fewer long-term relationships? This seems like a particularly interesting issue for millennials – what will their future families and relationships look like?

I would be interested to hear what the younger generations say most influences their decisions in this area. Parents? Friends? Public role models or media figures? Changing narratives about what to expect in marriage?

This is another reminder that marriage and family patterns change over time.

The rise of extended-family households in America

New data shows that more Americans are now living with their families:

Almost 1.2 million of the [Washington D.C.] region’s 6 million residents were living with extended family members and friends last year, a 33?percent rise over the past decade. Nationwide, according to recently released 2010 Census statistics, at least 54 million people are in a similar spot.

The figures represent a significant reversal in American lifestyles after decades in which extended-family households fell into disfavor and the nuclear family flourished in the suburbs.

“We haven’t seen anything like this since the Depression,” said Frances Goldscheider, a Brown University sociologist who has studied families and living arrangements. “Overwhelmingly, it’s the recession’s effect on people’s ability to maintain a house. You have the foreclosures on one hand, and no jobs on the other. That’s a pretty double whammy.”…

Although the faltering economy is a major factor in the newfound togetherness, demographers and sociologists say the recession accelerated a shift that was already underway. Fueling the trend: baby boomers caring for aging parents, and the arrival of millions of Hispanic and Asian immigrants, who are more likely to live among several generations under one roof.

On one hand, the article suggests demographic shifts are responsible for this change: growing numbers of immigrants plus the Baby Boomers getting older. On the other hand, the recession has made it more difficult to set up independent households. I assume there has to be some research out there that separates out these different effects and could predict whether this trend will reverse when the American economy improves.

It would be interesting to ask these family members who are living together several questions:

  1. Is this what you had envisioned as family life?
  2. Is the current situation (living with family) good, bad, neutral, etc.?
  3. Would you like to continue living this way if the economy significantly improves?

And years into the future, how exactly will these family members remember these experiences?

“The Marginalization of Marriage” report says marriage is helpful in achieving the American Dream

A new report from the Brookings Institute, written by one conservative sociologist and one liberal sociologist, suggests that marriage is helpful for achieving the American Dream:

To be sure, not every married family is a healthy one that benefits children. Yet, on average, the institution of marriage conveys important benefits to adults and children. This advantage may be due to the greater stability of the marriage bond, or to the kinds of people who choose to marry and to stay married, or to qualities associated with the institution of marriage (such as a greater degree of commitment and investment in family life). Let us assume that all of these factors play a role. The fact is that children born and raised in intact, married homes typically enjoy higher quality relationships with their parents, are more likely to steer clear of trouble with the law, to graduate from high school and college, to be gainfully employed as adults, and to enjoy stable marriages of their own in adulthood. Women and men who get and stay married are more likely to accrue substantial financial assets and to enjoy good physical and mental health. In fact, married men enjoy a wage premium compared to their single peers that may exceed 10 percent. At the collective level, the retreat from marriage has played a noteworthy role in fueling the growth in family income inequality and child poverty that has beset the nation since the 1970s. For all these reasons, then, the institution of marriage has been an important pillar of the American Dream, and the erosion of marriage in Middle America is one reason the dream is increasingly out of reach for men, women, and children from moderately-educated homes.

This strikes me as an odd defense of marriage. This reasoning is very pragmatic: because marriage is successful in helping people reach the American Dream, therefore, people should look for such relationships. I could imagine several objections to this argument:

1. There are better reasons for defending marriage as an institution. Tying marriage to a particular successful life sequence could take the emphasis away from the relationship and move it to acquiring particular material possessions, life chances, and statuses. Ultimately, it seems to me that the current debate around marital practices in the United States comes down to moral beliefs.

2. Perhaps the notion of the American Dream is changing. Just because this has worked in the past doesn’t mean that this is what Americans want to pursue in the future.

3. There are other notable reasons for the growing inequality and rise in child poverty in the United States over the last few decades.

All in all, I imagine this report could generate a significant amount of debate.