Marriage Measures Guide of State-Level Statistics. Washington

03/30/2008

Overview and Key Statistics

State Population

  • In 2006, Washington’s state population was 6,395,798, which ranked 14th among the 50 states.
  • The state’s largest racial/ethnic groups were whites (76 percent), Hispanics (9 percent), and Asians (7 percent).

Marriage and Childbearing

  • In 2004, there were 24,818 births to unmarried women in Washington, accounting for 30.4 percent of all births in the state.
  • Washington ranked 41st among the 50 states in the highest percentage of births to unmarried women.
  • In 2004, there were 13,737 births to unmarried white women in Washington, 6,293 births to unmarried Hispanic women, and 1,266 births to unmarried Asians.

Marriage and Divorce

  • In 2005, Washington had a divorce rate of 4.3 divorces per 1,000 people.  Washington’s divorce rate ranked 16th highest among the 44 states that report divorce statistics.
  • The percentage of adults who were divorced was 15.2 percent in rural areas and 17.7 percent in urban areas.

Marriage and Low-Income Children

  • In 2006, Washington had 538,217 children living in families with incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.  Just over half of these children (50.3 percent) were living with married parents.
  • The state’s largest group of low-income children lived with married parents in urban areas.  In 2006, there were 219,703 children in this group.
  • In 2006, 51 percent of low-income children in Washington were white, 27 percent were Hispanic, and 5 percent were Asian.

 

TABLE WA-1.

WASHINGTON

NONMARITAL BIRTHS,

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

 

 

Washington

 

Pacific 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

      1,901

      2,102

 90.4

 

 89.1

 

90.6

18 to 29

     18,638

     47,344

 39.4

 

 43.1

 

45.3

Over 30

      4,279

     32,301

 13.2

 

 17.2

 

16.0

Mother’s Race/Ethnicityb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White

     13,737

     53,500

 25.7

 

 22.7

 

24.5

African American

      1,715

      3,108

 55.2

 

 62.0

 

69.3

Hispanic

      6,293

     14,255

 44.1

 

 44.5

 

46.4

Asian

      1,266

      6,909

 18.3

 

 16.6

 

14.2

Mother’s Educationc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Less than high school

      8,869

     15,283

 58.0

 

 53.7

 

60.9

High school graduate

     14,092

     43,158

 32.7

 

 36.6

 

39.8

College graduate

        984

     20,719

  4.7

 

  7.0

 

7.0

Geographic Area

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

King County

      5,491

     22,939

 23.9

 

---

 

---

Pierce County

      3,453

     10,243

 33.7

 

---

 

---

All other counties

     15,874

     48,565

 32.7

 

---

 

---

Total

     24,818

     81,747

 30.4

 

 33.8

 

35.8

 

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

a Includes Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington.

b See Technical Appendix for definition of racial/ethnic groups. Includes only the state’s four largest groups.

cNumber of births in groups may not sum to state total due to missing information on mother’s education level.

 

TABLE WA-2.

WASHINGTON

DIVORCE RATES,

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

 

Overall Rates, 2005

Measure

Washington

 

Pacific Regiona

 

United Statesb

Number of divorces granted

     27,022

 

     44,920

 

846,166

Number of divorces granted per 1,000 peoplec

  4.3

 

  4.2

 

3.6

State ranking (highest to lowest)b

 16

 

 

 

 

 

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

a Includes Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington.  

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

 

Washington

 

Pacific Regiond

 

United States

Population Group

Number of
Divorced People

Percent of
Group

 

Percent of
Group

 

Percent of
Group

Gender

 

 

 

 

 

 

Men

    270,629

 16.2

 

 13.3

 

 13.7

Women

    347,880

 18.3

 

 16.5

 

 16.0

Race/Ethnicitye

 

 

 

 

 

 

White

    519,365

 17.9

 

 17.5

 

 15.0

African American

     20,840

 24.9

 

 24.3

 

 21.1

Hispanic

     29,334

 12.3

 

 10.7

 

 12.2

Asian

24,935

10.3

 

7.9

 

6.9

Education Level

 

 

 

 

 

 

Less than high school

     58,894

 15.5

 

 10.5

 

 13.4

High school graduate

    417,853

 19.7

 

 17.4

 

 16.8

College graduate

    141,762

 13.2

 

 13.2

 

 11.9

Geographic Areae

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rural

     74,432

 15.2

 

 15.5

 

 14.5

Urban

    544,077

 17.7

 

 15.0

 

 15.1

Total

    618,509

 17.3

 

 15.0

 

 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 Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington.

e See Technical Appendix for definition of racial/ethnic groups and geographic areas. Estimates of racial/ethnic differences include only the state’s four largest racial/ethnic groups.

 

TABLE WA-3.

WASHINGTON

DISTRIBUTION OF LOW-INCOME CHILDREN,

BY FAMILY TYPE AND GEOGRAPHIC AREA

 

 

 

Washington

 

Pacific Regiona

 

United States

Geographic
Areab

Family
Type

Number of
Children

Percent of
Children

 

Percent of
Children

 

Percent of
Children

All Areas

Married Parents

    270,644

 50.3

 

 51.9

 

45.4

 

Cohabiting Parents

     56,732

 10.5

 

 10.0

 

9.1

 

Single Parent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never married

     59,189

 11.0

 

 10.8

 

14.9

 

Formerly married

     99,588

 18.5

 

 15.5

 

18.0

 

Neither Parent

     19,261

  3.6

 

  3.5

 

4.3

 

Unknownc

     32,803

  6.1

 

  8.4

 

8.3

 

Total

    538,217

100.0

 

100.0

 

100.0

Rural

Married Parents

     50,941

 52.2

 

 54.4

 

48.0

 

Cohabiting Parents

     11,854

 12.1

 

 11.2

 

9.6

 

Single Parent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never married

      6,903

  7.1

 

  7.0

 

10.3

 

Formerly married

     14,456

 14.8

 

 15.8

 

19.0

 

Neither Parent

      4,038

  4.1

 

  4.3

 

5.2

 

Unknownc

      9,481

  9.7

 

  7.2

 

7.9

 

Total

     97,673

100.0

 

100.0

 

100.0

Urban

Married Parents

    219,703

 49.9

 

 51.8

 

44.8

 

Cohabiting Parents

     44,878

 10.2

 

 10.0

 

9.0

 

Single Parent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never married

     52,286

 11.9

 

 11.0

 

15.9

 

Formerly married

     85,132

 19.3

 

 15.4

 

17.7

 

Neither Parent

     15,223

  3.5

 

  3.4

 

4.1

 

Unknownc

     23,322

  5.3

 

  8.4

 

8.3

 

Total

    440,544

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 Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington.

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.

 

TABLE WA-4.

WASHINGTON

DISTRIBUTION OF LOW-INCOME CHILDREN,

BY FAMILY TYPE AND RACIAL/ETHNIC BACKGROUND

 

 

 

Washington

 

Pacific Regiona

 

United
States

Racial/Ethnic Groupb

Family Type

Number of
Children

Percent of
Children

 

Percent of
Children

 

Percent of
Children

White

Married Parents

    136,944

 49.9

 

 49.6

 

52.3

 

Cohabiting Parents

     31,479

 11.5

 

 10.5

 

9.9

 

Single Parent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never married

     19,326

  7.0

 

  7.7

 

6.5

 

Formerly married

     62,153

 22.6

 

 22.0

 

21.0

 

Neither Parent

      9,754

  3.6

 

  4.0

 

4.0

 

Unknownc

     14,807

  5.4

 

  6.3

 

6.2

 

Total

    274,463

100.0

 

100.0

 

100.0

African
American

Married Parents

     14,931

 43.0

 

 23.5

 

20.0

Cohabiting Parents

      2,813

  8.1

 

  6.9

 

6.3

 

Single Parent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never married

      8,571

 24.7

 

 34.8

 

37.3

 

Formerly married

      5,597

 16.1

 

 18.5

 

18.6

 

Neither Parent

      2,050

  5.9

 

  8.1

 

6.9

 

Unknownc

        776

  2.2

 

  8.1

 

10.9

 

Total

     34,738

100.0

 

100.0

 

100.0

Hispanic

Married Parents

     84,629

 57.2

 

 55.8

 

53.8

 

Cohabiting Parents

     11,990

  8.1

 

 10.5

 

9.9

 

Single Parent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never married

     19,980

 13.5

 

  9.4

 

10.3

 

Formerly married

     15,923

 10.8

 

 12.4

 

14.1

 

Neither Parent

      3,270

  2.2

 

  2.7

 

3.0

 

Unknownc

     12,119

  8.2

 

  9.2

 

8.9

 

Total

    147,911

100.0

 

100.0

 

100.0

Asian

Married Parents

17,040

65.6

 

67.8

 

73.2

Cohabiting Parents

943

3.6

 

5.0

 

3.7

Single Parent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never married

1,651

6.4

 

5.0

 

3.7

 

Formerly married

3,681

14.2

 

12.3

 

10.6

 

Neither Parent

1,894

7.3

 

3.1

 

2.5

 

Unknownc

760

2.9

 

6.8

 

6.3

 

Total

25,969    

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 Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington.

b See Technical Appendix for definition of racial/ethnic groups. The table includes only the state’s four largest 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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