Skip to comments.37 percent of U.S. births out of wedlock
Posted on 11/21/2006 1:23:56 PM PST by BenLurkin
ATLANTA - Out-of-wedlock births in the United States have climbed to an all-time high, accounting for nearly four in 10 babies born last year, government health officials said Tuesday.
While out-of-wedlock births have long been associated with teen mothers, the teen birth rate actually dropped last year to the lowest level on record. Instead, births among unwed mothers rose most dramatically among women in their 20s.
The overall rise reflects the burgeoning number of people who are putting off marriage or living together without getting married.
The increase in births to unwed mothers was seen in all racial groups, but rose most sharply among Hispanics. It was up among all age groups except youngsters ages 10 to 17.
"A lot of people think of teenagers and unmarried mothers synonymously, but they are not driving this," said Stephanie Ventura of the National Center for Health Statistics, a co-author of the report.
The government also reported that the rate of births by Caesarean delivery continued to climb in 2005 to a record high, despite efforts by public health authorities to bring down the number.
Many experts believe a large number of C-sections are medically unnecessary and done only for the convenience of the mother or her doctor.
The government report includes information from 99 percent of U.S. birth certificates filed last year. The information for 2005 is considered preliminary, but officials said it is not expected to change much.
About 4.1 million babies were born in the United States last year, up slightly from 2004. More than 1.5 million of those were to unmarried women; that is about 37 percent of the total. In 2004, about 36 percent of births were out of wedlock.
Out-of-wedlock births have been rising since the late 1990s.
But just because a mother is not married does not mean the father isn't around, Ventura noted. She noted 2002 statistics that showed that about 20 percent of all new mothers under 20 were unmarried but living with the father at the time of the birth. That same was true of about 13 percent of all new mothers ages 20 to 24.
According to census figures, the median age at first marriage was 27 for men and 25 for women last year, up from 23 and 20 in 1950. Meanwhile, the number of unmarried-couple households with children has been climbing, hitting more than 1.7 million last year, up from under 200,000 in 1970.
Other findings in the report:
The birth rate among teenagers declined 2 percent in 2005, continuing a trend from the early 1990s. The rate is now about 40 births per 1,000 females ages 15 to 19. That is the lowest level in the 65 years for which a consistent series of rates is available.
The U.S. teen birth rate is still the highest among industrialized countries.
Births to women in their early 20s rose slightly, to 102 births per 1,000 women ages 20 to 24. Births to women in their late 20s the most productive group in terms of childbirth was about that same from the previous year, at about 116 per 1,000 women ages 25 to 29.
The C-section rate rose to 30.2 percent of all births in 2005, an increase of 1 percentage point from the previous year. The rate has risen by nearly half since 1996.
"It is clear that the procedure is being overused," Tonya Jamois, president of the International Cesarean Awareness Network, said in a statement. ICAN is a California-based nonprofit organization focused on lowering C-section rates.
We have a "Bastard Boom".
"The increase in births to unwed mothers was seen in all racial groups, but rose most sharply among Hispanics"
Can't wait until GWB signs in another 20 million....LOL.
Can you say "Welfare mama"?
LBJ's war on poverty was really war on marriage. Since the liberalization of welfare and widespread public acceptance of public support for single mothers the out of wedlock rate has skyrocketed along with crime and other social dysfunctions.
Boy the way Glen Miller played
Songs that made the hit parade.
Guys like us we had it made,
Those were the days.
And you knew who you were then,
Girls were girls and men were men,
Mister we could use a man
Like Herbert Hoover again.
Didn't need no welfare state,
Everybody pulled his weight.
Gee our old LaSalle ran great.
Those were the days.
An increasing percentage of women want to live the "Sex and the City" life. They want to be urban slicksters with no traditions. The Madonna-eqsue / Hollywierd out of wedlock love child is considered cool these days.
I'm surrounded by Bastards!
Ah....you're just mad about not getting in the'free love' of those days...........However, you're DEAD RIGHT bout the consequences.........we're all paying for it now!;^)
Those were the days.
So only 80-87% had no father around, and we're supposed to be reassured.
"just because a mother is not married does not mean the father isn't around," Ventura noted.
LOL, at least he was around one night.
Pull the plug.
And on the 1st and the 15th.
I realize this will make things a bit less convenient for citizens too...but why can't we pass a law stating that to be treated in a hospital you MUST have proof of residency?
I hope they don't break it down by race, because that would be racist.
And prolly another 37 percent are born to "parents" who hurry up and get married, once they learn "they're" pregnant.
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