The Future is Kennedy

By Razib Khan | August 15, 2010 12:11 am

JPK_PhotoOne thing which has struck me about the Kennedy clan is that it seems inordinately fecund. The GSS tells me that in the 2000s white non-Hispanic liberals who are over the age of 45 have on average fewer than 2 children each. The ideal family size for the same segment is given as a little under 3. There isn’t any significant difference when constraining to the subset to those who are Roman Catholic.

So is my intuition about the Kennedy clan correct? There’s a helpful Wikipedia page which lists the descendants of Joseph P. Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy. Several of their children died too early to have any children of their own, or did not have children. Nevertheless, I count 69 great-grandchildren of Joseph P. Kennedy! Since his coefficient of relatedness to his great-grandchildren is 1/8, you get 8.63 in terms of his contribution to the current generation. But the real action is in two of Joseph P. Kennedy’s children, Eunice and Robert, whose own children seem to be quite prolific themselves. Below the fold is a list of the descendants. I’ve omitted some of those with no children in the first two generations.

John F Kennedy
Caroline Kennedy
Rose Schlossberg
Tatiana Schlosserg
John Schlossberg
Eunice Kennedy
Robert Shriver
Rosemary Shriver
Maria Shriver
Katherine Schwarzenegger
Christina Schwarzenegger
Patrick Schwarzengger
Christopher Schwarzenegger
Tim Shriver
Sophia Shriver
Timothy Shriver
Sam Shriver
Kathleen Shriver
Caroline Shriver
Mark Shriver
Mary Shriver
Thomas Shriver
Emma Shriver
Anthony Shriver
Jorge Shriver
Eunice Shriver
Francesca Shriver
Carolina Shriver
John Shriver
Patricia Kennedy
Christopher Lawford
David Lawford
Savannah Lawford
Matthew Lawford
Sydney Lawford
James McKelvy
Christopher McKelvy
Patrick McKelvy
Anthrony McKelvy
Victoria Lawford
Alexandra Pender
Caroline Pender
Victoria Pender
Robert Kennedy
Kathleen Kennedy
Meaghan Townsend
Maeve Townsend
Kerry Townsend
Joe Kennedy III
Matthew Kennedy
Joseph Kennedy
Robert Kennedy Jr.
Robert Kennedy III
Kathleen Kennedy
Conor Kennedy
Kyra Kennedy
William Kennedy
Aidan Kennedy
Mary Kennedy
Saoirse Hill
Michael Kennedy
Michael Kennedy Jr.
Kyle Kennedy
Rory Kennedy
Kerry Kennedy
Mariah Cuomo
Cara Cuomo
Michaela Cuomo
Christopher Kennedy
Katherine Kennedy
Christopher Kennedy Jr.
Sarah Kennedy
Care Kennedy
Matthew Kennedy
Matthew Kennedy Jr.
Caroline Kennedy
Noah Kennedy
Douglas Kennedy
Riley Kennedy
Mary Kennedy
Rowen Kennedy
Rory Kennedy
Georgia Kennedy-Bailey
Bridget Kennedy-Bailey
Zachary Kennedy-Bailey
Jean Kennedy
Stephen Smith Jr.
William Smith
Amanda Smith
Kym Smith
Edward Kennedy
Kara Kennedy
Grace Allen
Max Allen
Edward Kennedy Jr.
Kiley Kennedy
Edward Kennedy III
MORE ABOUT: Kennedy family
  • David Boxenhorn

    The super-rich have more children.

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention The Future is Kennedy | Gene Expression | Discover Magazine --

  • bioIgnoramus

    None on the wrong side of the blanket?

  • Don

    Ah ha. A manifestation of Greg Clark’s thesis!

  • Duncan

    Tiresome comment retracted.

  • Yawnie

    One suggested reason succesful men have more children is because they have more sons.

    Robert seems to have been the one mainly responsible . I have read that some people thought that Robert Kennedy (5’9” in a family of 6’+ men) was suffering from ‘short man syndrome’ in addition to having been indoctrinated by his father into to feeling he had something to prove.

  • Maya

    David: I’m interested in the “super-rich having more children” claim– do you have anything you can point me to? I was under the impression that among whites in the US, cultural attitudes among the upper-middle class have effectively restricted childbearing to 1-2 on average, if any. If you have any info on the upper classes/super rich, I’d be glad if you’d share :)

  • Joshua Zelinsky

    The Kennedys are Irish-Catholics. Irish Catholics stereotypically have large families although I don’t know if there’s actual statistical data to back this up. Is this true? And if it is true, how do the Kennedys compare to similar families with their ethnic-religious background?

  • Razib Khan

    The Kennedys are Irish-Catholics. Irish Catholics stereotypically have large families although I don’t know if there’s actual statistical data to back this up. Is this true? And if it is true, how do the Kennedys compare to similar families with their ethnic-religious background?

    the mean for irish + catholic using the constraints above (age 45 and above, year 2000 and later) is 2.7 children.

  • Yawnie

    Irish Catholics are disproportionately working class.

  • Razib Khan

    yawnie, what’s your reference? in the 2000s the socioeconomic index for irish catholics in the GSS was 55, against the mean in the pop of 49, and 50 for protestant irish (which i assume refers mostly to scotch-irish).

  • Pingback: The socioeconomic status of white ethnics | Gene Expression | Discover Magazine()


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About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at


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