Figure BIRTH 2. Percentage of All Births that are Nonmarital Teen Births, by Race/Ethnicity 1940-2004
Note: Prior to 1969, race data were available for Whites and Non-Whites only.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics, “Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States, 1940 - 1999,” National Vital Health Statistics Reports, Vol. 48 (16), 2000; “Births: Final Data for 2004,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 55 (1), September 2005.
In contrast to the earlier Figure BIRTH 1, which showed nonmarital teen births as a percentage of all teen births, Figure BIRTH 2 shows births to unmarried teens as a percentage of births to all women. This percentage fell over the last six years, from 9.7 to 8.3 percent, reversing a long upward trend since 1940. This rate may be affected by several factors: the age distribution of women, the marriage rate among teens, the birth rate among unmarried teens and the birth rate among all other women.
Among black women, the percentage of all births that were nonmarital teen births fell to 16.0 percent in 2004, the lowest percentage since 1969. This rate has varied greatly over time, peaking at 24 percent in 1975, and then gradually declining over most of the past three decades.
The percentage of all births that were nonmarital teen births increased slightly for whites (from 7.1 to 7.2 percent) and Hispanics (from 10.7 to 10.9 percent) between 2003 and 2004.
Table BIRTH 2. Percentage of All Births that are Nonmarital Teen Births, by Race/Ethnicity: Selected Years
Note: Trends in nonmarital births may be affected by changes in the reporting of marital status on birth certificates and in procedures for inferring nonmarital births when marital status is not reported. Beginning in 1980, data are tabulated by the race of the mother. Prior to 1980, data are tabulated by the race of the child. Teens are defined as people ages 15 to 19.
Race categories include those of Hispanic ethnicity. Persons of Hispanic ethnicity may be of any race. Due to small sample size, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders are included in the total for all persons but are not shown separately.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics, “Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States, 1940-1999,” National Vital Health Statistics Reports, Vol. 48 (16), 2000; “Births: Final Data for 2004,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 55 (2), September 2006.