Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2008. Nonmarital Birth Risk Factor 1. Nonmarital Births

12/20/2008

Figure BIRTH 1.
Percentage of Births that are Nonmarital by Age: 1940-2006

Figure BIRTH 1

Note:   Trends in non-marital births may be affected by changes in the reporting of marital status on birth certificates and in procedures for inferring non-marital births when marital status is not reported.

Source:  National Center for Health Statistics, “Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States, 1940-1999,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 48 (16), 2000; “Births: Preliminary Data for 2006,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 56 (7), December 2007, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr56/nvsr56_07.pdf.


  • Figure BIRTH 1 shows the percentage of births that were nonmarital by age group from 1940 to 2006 and Table BIRTH 1 shows corresponding estimates for selected years.  Changes in nonmarital births reflect changes in the rate at which unmarried women have children, the rate at which married women have children and the rate at which women marry.  The percentage of children born outside of marriage to women of all ages has increased over the past 60 years.  In 1940, 3.8 percent of births were to unmarried women.  In 2006, the percentage increased to 38.5 percent.
  • Teen births, as shown in Figure BIRTH 1 and Table BIRTH 1, show nonmarital teen births as a percentage of all teen births.  In 1940, 14.0 percent of births to teens were nonmarital.  While the percentage of all teen births that are nonmarital has increased since the mid-1960s, growth in the percentage slowed in the mid- to late- 1990s before rising to 84.4 percent in 2006.
  • Over the past 10 years, the percentage of nonmarital births among all births to women 20 to 24 years of age increased by 27.0 percent from 45.6 percent in 1996 to 57.9 percent in 2006. This compares to an increase of 10.6 percent in the percentage of nonmarital births among teen births over the same period. 
  • Since 1994, the percentage of births that are nonmarital remains steady among Black teens and all Black women. Among White teens and all White women, the trend continues upward (see Table C-1 in Appendix C for nonmarital birth data by age and race).

Table BIRTH 1.
Percentage of Births that are Nonmarital by Age: Selected Years

Year Under 15 15-17 Years 18-19 Years All Teens 20-24 Years All Women
Note:  Trends in non-marital births may be affected by changes in the reporting of marital status on birth certificates and in procedures for inferring non-marital births when marital status is not reported.

Source:  National Center for Health Statistics, “Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States, 1940-1999,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 48 (16), 2000; “Births: Preliminary Data for 2006,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 56 (7), December 2007, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr56/nvsr56_07.pdf.

1940 64.5 NA NA 14.0 3.7 3.8
1945 70.0 NA NA 18.2 4.7 4.3
1950 63.7 22.6 9.4 13.9 3.8 4.0
1955 66.3 23.2 10.3 14.9 4.4 4.5
1960 67.9 24.0 10.7 15.4 4.8 5.3
1965 78.5 32.8 15.3 21.6 6.8 7.7
1970 80.8 43.0 22.4 30.5 8.9 10.7
1975 87.0 51.4 29.8 39.3 12.3 14.3
1980 88.7 61.5 39.8 48.3 19.4 18.4
1981 89.2 63.3 41.4 49.9 20.4 18.9
1982 89.2 65.0 43.0 51.4 21.4 19.4
1983 90.4 67.5 45.7 54.1 22.9 20.3
1984 91.1 69.2 48.1 56.3 24.5 21.0
1985 91.8 70.9 50.7 58.7 26.3 22.0
1986 92.5 73.3 53.6 61.5 28.7 23.4
1987 92.9 76.2 55.8 64.0 30.8 24.5
1988 93.6 77.1 58.5 65.9 32.9 25.7
1989 92.4 77.7 60.4 67.2 35.1 27.1
1990 91.6 77.7 61.3 67.6 36.9 28.0
1991 91.3 78.7 63.2 69.3 39.4 29.5
1992 91.3 79.2 64.6 70.5 40.7 30.1
1993 91.3 79.9 66.1 71.8 42.2 31.0
1994 94.5 84.1 70.0 75.9 44.9 32.6
1995 93.5 83.7 69.8 75.6 44.7 32.2
1996 93.8 84.4 70.8 76.3 45.6 32.4
1997 95.7 86.7 72.5 78.2 46.6 32.4
1998 96.6 87.5 73.6 78.9 47.7 32.8
1999 96.5 87.7 74.0 79.0 48.5 33.0
2000 96.5 87.7 74.3 79.1 49.5 33.2
2001 96.3 87.8 74.6 79.2 50.4 33.5
2002 97.0 88.5 75.8 80.2 51.6 34.0
2003 97.1 89.7 77.3 81.6 53.2 34.6
2004 97.4 90.3 78.7 82.6 54.8 35.8
2005 98.0 90.9 79.7 83.5 56.2 36.9
2006 98.3 91.9 80.5 84.4 57.9 38.5

 

View full report

Preview
Download

"report.pdf" (pdf, 673.5Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®