Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2000. Non-marital Birth Risk Factor 3. Unmarried Teen Birth Rates Within Age Groups

03/01/2000

Figure BIRTH 3a. Births per 1,000 Unmarried Teens Ages 15 - 17, by Race: 1960-97

Figure BIRTH 3a. Births per 1,000 Unmarried Teens Ages 15 - 17, by Race: 1960-97

Figure BIRTH 3b. Births per 1,000 Unmarried Teens Ages 18 and 19, by Race: 1960-97

Figure BIRTH 3b. Births per 1,000 Unmarried Teens Ages 18 and 19, by Race: 1960-97

Sources: Ventura, S.J., National Center for Health Statistics, “Births to Unmarried Mothers: United States, 1980–1992,” Vital and Health Statistics, Series 21, No. 53, 1995; Ventura, S.J., Martin, J.A., Curtin, S.C., Mathews, T.J., National Center for Health Statistics, “Births: Final Data for 1997,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 47(18), 1999; Martin, J.A., Smith, B.L, Mathews, T.J., Ventura, S.J., National Center for Health Statistics, “Births and Deaths: Preliminary Data for 1998,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 47(25), 1999.


  • The birth rate per 1,000 unmarried teens fell between 1994 and 1997 for both black and white teens and for both younger (15 to 17 years) and older age groups (18 to 19 years). Declines were larger among black teens than among white teens.
  • Prior to 1994, birth rates among unmarried white teens in both age groups rose steadily for nearly three decades (4 to 24 percent among 15 to 17 year-olds and 11 to 56 percent among 18 to 19 year-olds).
  • Among unmarried black teens in both age groups, birth rates varied greatly over the period, reaching peaks in both the early 1970s and early 1990s. Rates for both age groups were lower in 1997 than in 1969. While birth rates among unmarried black teens remain high compared to rates for unmarried white teens, the gap been black and white teens is narrowing.

Table BIRTH 3. Births per 1,000 Unmarried Teen Women Within Age Groups, by Race: 1960-97

  Ages 15 – 17 Ages 18 – 19
  Total White Black Total White Black
1960 11.1 4.4 N/A 24.3 11.4 N/A
1961 11.7 4.6 N/A 24.6 12.1 N/A
1962 10.7 4.1 N/A 23.8 11.7 N/A
1963 10.9 4.5 N/A 25.8 13.0 N/A
1964 11.6 4.9 N/A 26.5 13.6 N/A
1965 12.5 5.0 N/A 25.8 13.9 N/A
1966 13.1 5.4 N/A 25.6 14.1 N/A
1967 13.8 5.6 N/A 27.6 15.3 N/A
1968 14.7 6.2 N/A 29.6 16.6 N/A
1969 15.2 6.6 72.0 30.8 16.6 128.4
1970 17.1 7.5 77.9 32.9 17.6 136.4
1971 17.5 7.4 80.7 31.7 15.8 135.2
1972 18.5 8.0 82.8 30.9 15.1 128.2
1973 18.7 8.4 81.2 30.4 14.9 120.5
1974 18.8 8.8 78.6 31.2 15.3 122.2
1975 19.3 9.6 76.8 32.5 16.5 123.8
1976 19.0 9.7 73.5 32.1 16.9 117.9
1977 19.8 10.5 73.0 34.6 18.7 121.7
1978 19.1 10.3 68.8 35.1 19.3 119.6
1979 19.9 10.8 71.0 37.2 21.0 123.3
1980 20.6 12.0 68.8 39.0 24.1 118.2
1981 20.9 12.6 65.9 39.0 24.6 114.2
1982 21.5 13.1 66.3 39.6 25.3 112.7
1983 22.0 13.6 66.8 40.7 26.4 111.9
1984 21.9 13.7 66.5 42.5 27.9 113.6
1985 22.4 14.5 66.8 45.9 31.2 117.9
1986 22.8 14.9 67.0 48.0 33.5 121.1
1987 24.5 16.2 69.9 48.9 34.5 123.0
1988 26.4 17.6 73.5 51.5 36.8 130.5
1989 28.7 19.3 78.9 56.0 40.2 140.9
1990 29.6 20.4 78.8 60.7 44.9 143.7
1991 30.9 21.8 80.4 65.7 49.6 148.7
1992 30.4 21.6 78.0 67.3 51.5 147.8
1993 30.6 22.1 76.8 66.9 52.4 141.6
1994 32.0 24.1 75.1 70.1 56.4 141.6
1995 30.5 23.6 68.6 67.6 55.4 131.2
1996 29.0 22.7 64.0 65.9 54.1 129.2
1997 28.2 22.4 60.6 65.2 53.6 127.2

Note: Rates are per 1,000 unmarried women in specified group. Births to unmarried women in the U. S. for 1940–1979 are estimated from data for registration areas in which marital status of the mother was reported; see sources below (rates for 1960–65 are calculated by ASPE from National Center for Health Statistics estimates of births and Census population estimates). Beginning in 1980, births to unmarried women in the U.S. are based on data from states reporting marital status directly and data from non-reporting states for which marital status was inferred from other information on the birth certificate; see sources below. Beginning in 1980, data are tabulated by the race of the mother. Prior to 1980, data are tabulated by the race of the child; see sources below. Rates for 1981-1989 have been revised and differ, therefore, from rates published in Vital Statistics in the United States, Vol. 1, Natality, for 1991 and earlier years.

Source: See Figures BIRTH 3a and 3b.

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