Marriage Measures Guide of State-Level Statistics. Massachusetts

03/30/2008

Overview and Key Statistics

State Population

  • In 2006, Massachusetts’s state population was 6,437,193, which ranked 13th among the 50 states.
  • The state’s largest racial/ethnic groups were whites (79 percent) and Hispanics (8  percent).

Marriage and Childbearing

  • In 2004, there were 22,392 births to unmarried women in Massachusetts, accounting for 28.5 percent of all births in the state.
  • Massachusetts ranked 46th among the 50 states in the highest percentage of births to unmarried women.
  • In 2004, there were 11,353 births to unmarried white women in Massachusetts and 6,205 births to unmarried Hispanic women.

Marriage and Divorce

  • In 2005, Massachusetts had a divorce rate of 2.2 divorces per 1,000 people.  Massachusetts’s divorce rate ranked lowest among the 44 states that report divorce statistics.
  • The percentage of adults who were divorced was 12.8 percent in rural areas and 13.5 percent in urban areas.

Marriage and Low-Income Children

  • In 2006, Massachusetts had 376,106 children living in families with incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.  Over one-third of these children (36.3 percent) were living with married parents.
  • The state’s largest group of low-income children lived with single parents in urban areas.  In 2006, there were 162,502 children in this group.
  • In 2006, 47 percent of low-income children in Massachusetts were white, 26 percent were Hispanic, and 16 percent were African American.

 

TABLE MA-1.

MASSACHUSETTS

NONMARITAL BIRTHS,

BY MOTHER’S AGE, RACE/ETHNICITY, EDUCATION LEVEL, AND COUNTY

 

 

Massachusetts

 

New England Regiona

 

United States

Population Group

Number of Births to Unmarried Women

Number of Births to All Women

Percent of Births to Unmarried Women

 

Percent of Births to Unmarried Women

 

Percent of Births to Unmarried Women

Mother’s Age

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Less than 18

      1,457

      1,495

 97.5

 

 96.8

 

90.6

18 to 29

     15,863

     32,709

 48.5

 

 47.9

 

45.3

Over 30

      5,072

     44,280

 11.5

 

 11.9

 

16.0

Mother’s Race/Ethnicityb, c

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White

     11,353

     55,662

 20.4

 

 22.7

 

24.5

African American

      3,835

      6,713

 57.1

 

 60.6

 

69.3

Hispanic

      6,205

      9,839

 63.1

 

 61.6

 

46.4

Other

        888

      5,713

 15.5

 

 16.3

 

21.7

Mother’s Educationb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Less than high school

      7,035

      9,626

 73.1

 

 74.2

 

60.9

High school graduate

     13,340

     33,946

 39.3

 

 40.6

 

39.8

College graduate

      1,932

     34,608

  5.6

 

  6.0

 

7.0

Geographic Area

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Middlesex County

      3,182

     17,915

 17.8

 

---

 

---

Worcester County

      2,825

      9,789

 28.9

 

---

 

---

All other counties

     16,385

     50,780

 32.3

 

---

 

---

Total

     22,392

     78,484

 28.5

 

 30.1

 

35.8

 

Source:     National Center for Health Statistics.  See Technical Appendix for details.

a Includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

bNumber of births in groups may not sum to state total (bottom row) due to missing demographic information.

cSee Technical Appendix for definition of racial/ethnic groups.

 

TABLE MA-2.

MASSACHUSETTS

DIVORCE RATES,

BY GENDER, RACE/ETHNICITY, EDUCATION LEVEL, AND GEOGRAPHIC AREA

 

Overall Rates, 2005

Measure

Massachusetts

 

New England Regiona

 

United Statesb

Number of divorces granted

     14,354

 

     40,822

 

846,166

Number of divorces granted per 1,000 peoplec

  2.2

 

  2.9

 

3.6

State ranking (highest to lowest)b

 44

 

 

 

 

 

Source:     National Center for Health Statistics. See Technical Appendix for details.

a Includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.  

b Excludes six states where data are not available.  See Technical Appendix for list.

c This statistic should not be interpreted as the number of marriages that end in divorce.  See p. 7 for details.

 

Percentage of Ever-Married Adults Who Are Divorced, 2006

 

Massachusetts

 

New England Regiond

 

United States

Population Group

Number of
Divorced People

Percent of
Group

 

Percent of
Group

 

Percent of
Group

Gender

 

 

 

 

 

 

Men

    184,644

 12.0

 

 13.1

 

 13.7

Women

    272,804

 14.8

 

 15.8

 

 16.0

Race/Ethnicitye

 

 

 

 

 

 

White

    380,711

 13.4

 

 14.5

 

 15.0

African American

     24,103

 17.8

 

 18.6

 

 21.1

Hispanic

     35,218

 18.5

 

 17.2

 

 12.2

Other

     17,416

  8.2

 

  9.6

 

 10.4

Education Level

 

 

 

 

 

 

Less than high school

     51,494

 13.0

 

 14.5

 

 13.4

High school graduate

    276,761

 15.9

 

 16.7

 

 16.8

College graduate

    129,193

 10.4

 

 11.1

 

 11.9

Geographic Areae

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rural

      9,221

 12.8

 

 16.8

 

 14.5

Urban

    448,227

 13.5

 

 14.1

 

 15.1

Total

    457,448

 13.5

 

 14.6

 

 15.0

 

Source:     American Community Survey (ACS), 2006.  See Technical Appendix for details.

Notes:       Sample limited to ever-married individuals ages 15 and older.  Those who have remarried after a divorce are not counted as divorced in these percentages. See Technical Appendix for details.

d Includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

e See Technical Appendix for definition of racial/ethnic groups and geographic areas.

 

TABLE MA-3.

MASSACHUSETTS

DISTRIBUTION OF LOW-INCOME CHILDREN,

BY FAMILY TYPE AND GEOGRAPHIC AREA

 

 

 

Massachusetts

 

New England Regiona

 

United States

Geographic
Areab

Family
Type

Number of
Children

Percent of
Children

 

Percent of
Children

 

Percent of
Children

All Areas

Married Parents

    136,488

 36.3

 

 38.4

 

45.4

 

Cohabiting Parents

     37,958

 10.1

 

 11.4

 

9.1

 

Single Parent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never married

     78,938

 21.0

 

 18.8

 

14.9

 

Formerly married

     84,843

 22.6

 

 21.8

 

18.0

 

Neither Parent

     16,754

  4.5

 

  4.2

 

4.3

 

Unknownc

     21,125

  5.6

 

  5.4

 

8.3

 

Total

    376,106

100.0

 

100.0

 

100.0

Rural

Married Parents

      2,799

 45.7

 

 47.6

 

48.0

 

Cohabiting Parents

        916

 15.0

 

 13.7

 

9.6

 

Single Parent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never married

NA

NA

 

  6.6

 

10.3

 

Formerly married

      1,279

 20.9

 

 24.2

 

19.0

 

Neither Parent

        538

  8.8

 

  4.3

 

5.2

 

Unknownc

        590

  9.6

 

  3.6

 

7.9

 

Total

      6,122

100.0

 

100.0

 

100.0

Urban

Married Parents

    133,689

 36.1

 

 36.4

 

44.8

 

Cohabiting Parents

     37,042

 10.0

 

 10.9

 

9.0

 

Single Parent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never married

     78,938

 21.3

 

 21.4

 

15.9

 

Formerly married

     83,564

 22.6

 

 21.3

 

17.7

 

Neither Parent

     16,216

  4.4

 

  4.2

 

4.1

 

Unknownc

     20,535

  5.6

 

  5.7

 

8.3

 

Total

    369,984

100.0

 

100.0

 

100.0

 

Source:     American Community Survey (ACS), 2006.  See Technical Appendix for details.

Note:          Low-income children are defined as those living in families with incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty line.

a Includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

b See Technical Appendix for definition of geographic areas.

c Children in complex family types that cannot be distinguished using ACS data.  See Technical Appendix for details.

NA = not available; sample sizes are too small to produce precise state-level estimates.

 

TABLE MA-4.

MASSACHUSETTS

DISTRIBUTION OF LOW-INCOME CHILDREN,

BY FAMILY TYPE AND RACIAL/ETHNIC BACKGROUND

 

 

 

Massachusetts

 

New England Regiona

 

United
States

Racial/Ethnic Groupb

Family Type

Number of
Children

Percent of
Children

 

Percent of
Children

 

Percent of
Children

White

Married Parents

     76,991

 43.4

 

 45.0

 

52.3

 

Cohabiting Parents

     20,867

 11.8

 

 12.7

 

9.9

 

Single Parent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never married

     20,356

 11.5

 

  9.5

 

6.5

 

Formerly married

     42,450

 23.9

 

 24.4

 

21.0

 

Neither Parent

      7,883

  4.4

 

  3.9

 

4.0

 

Unknownc

      8,782

  5.0

 

  4.5

 

6.2

 

Total

    177,329

100.0

 

100.0

 

100.0

African
American

Married Parents

     14,647

 24.8

 

 23.0

 

20.0

Cohabiting Parents

      3,346

  5.7

 

  7.0

 

6.3

 

Single Parent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never married

     20,349

 34.5

 

 36.9

 

37.3

 

Formerly married

     12,936

 21.9

 

 19.0

 

18.6

 

Neither Parent

      2,817

  4.8

 

  6.4

 

6.9

 

Unknownc

      4,952

  8.4

 

  7.7

 

10.9

 

Total

     59,047

100.0

 

100.0

 

100.0

Hispanic

Married Parents

     25,293

 26.4

 

 29.0

 

53.8

 

Cohabiting Parents

      8,702

  9.1

 

 10.8

 

9.9

 

Single Parent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never married

     28,739

 29.9

 

 30.0

 

10.3

 

Formerly married

     24,502

 25.5

 

 20.4

 

14.1

 

Neither Parent

      3,242

  3.4

 

  3.7

 

3.0

 

Unknownc

      5,499

  5.7

 

  6.1

 

8.9

 

Total

     95,977

100.0

 

100.0

 

100.0

Other

Married Parents

     19,557

 44.7

 

 45.2

 

50.0

Cohabiting Parents

      5,043

 11.5

 

 11.1

 

9.5

Single Parent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never married

      9,494

 21.7

 

 20.0

 

12.0

 

Formerly married

      4,955

 11.3

 

 13.5

 

15.8

 

Neither Parent

      2,812

  6.4

 

  5.0

 

4.0

 

Unknownc

      1,892

  4.3

 

  5.3

 

8.7

 

Total

     43,753

100.0

 

100.0

 

100.0

 

Source:     American Community Survey (ACS), 2006.  See Technical Appendix for details.

Note:          Low-income children are defined as those living in families with incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty line.

a Includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

b See Technical Appendix for definition of racial/ethnic groups.

c Children in complex family types that cannot be distinguished using ACS data.  See Technical Appendix for details.

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