Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2008. Nonmarital Birth Risk Factor 2. Nonmarital Teen Births

12/20/2008

Figure BIRTH 2.
Percentage of All Births to Unmarried Teens Ages 15 to 19 by Race and Ethnicity: 1940-2005

Figure BIRTH 2

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.

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 2005,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 56 (6), December 2007 http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr56/nvsr56_06.pdf.


  • Figure BIRTH 2 shows the percentage of all births to unmarried teens 15 to 19 years of age by race and ethnicity, and Table BIRTH 2 shows corresponding estimates for selected years between 1940 and 2005.  Unlike BIRTH 1, which showed nonmarital teen births as a percentage of all teen births, BIRTH 2 shows births to unmarried teens as a percentage of births to all women.  This percentage is 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.
  • The percentage of all births that were to unmarried teens fell over the last eight years, from 9.7 in 1997 to 8.3 percent in 2005.   
  • Among Black women, the percentage of all births that were nonmarital teen births fell to 15.8 percent in 2005.  This is the lowest percentage since 1969, the first year in which data on Black women were collected.
  • Among White women, the percentage of all births that were to unmarried White teens ages 15 to 19 remained virtually unchanged between 2002 and 2005 at approximately 7.2 percent.
  • Among Hispanic women, the percentage of all births that were to unmarried teens increased from a low of 9.8 percent in 1990 to a high of 12.1 percent in 1998 before declining to 11.0 percent in 2005.

Table BIRTH 2.
Percentage of All Births to Unmarried Teens Ages 15 to 19 by Race and Ethnicity:  Selected Years

Year All Races White Black Hispanic
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.

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 2005,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 56 (6), December 2007 http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr56/nvsr56_06.pdf.

1940 1.7 0.8 NA NA
1945 1.8 0.8 NA NA
1950 1.6 0.6 NA NA
1955 1.7 0.7 NA NA
1960 2.0 0.9 NA NA
1965 3.3 1.6 NA NA
1969 4.7 2.4 17.5 NA
1970 5.1 2.6 18.8 NA
1975 7.1 3.7 24.2 NA
1980 7.3 4.4 22.2 NA
1981 7.1 4.5 21.5 NA
1982 7.1 4.5 21.2 NA
1983 7.2 4.6 21.2 NA
1984 7.1 4.6 20.7 NA
1985 7.2 4.8 20.3 NA
1986 7.5 5.1 20.1 NA
1987 7.7 5.3 20.0 NA
1988 8.0 5.6 20.3 NA
1989 8.3 5.9 20.6 NA
1990 8.4 6.1 20.4 9.8
1991 8.7 6.4 20.4 10.3
1992 8.7 6.5 20.2 10.3
1993 8.9 6.8 20.2 10.6
1994 9.7 7.5 21.1 12.1
1995 9.6 7.6 21.1 11.7
1996 9.6 7.7 20.9 11.5
1997 9.7 7.8 20.5 11.9
1998 9.7 7.9 19.9 12.1
1999 9.5 7.8 19.1 11.9
2000 9.1 7.6 18.3 11.6
2001 8.7 7.3 17.5 11.0
2002 8.5 7.2 16.7 10.8
2003 8.2 7.1 16.2 10.7
2004 8.3 7.2 16.0 10.9
2005 8.3 7.2 15.8 11.0

 

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