Performance Improvement 2008. What Are the Fertility Patterns of Married and Unmarried Men?


This research explored fertility patterns of men. Much has been written about women´s fertility patterns but little comparable information is known about men.

Data available from the National Survey of Family Growth, 2002 suggest that for most men, fatherhood is restricted to marriage. A significant fraction of men, however, have complex fertility patterns including un-married births, and mixtures of marital and cohabiting births. A man's pattern of births is related to a wide range of social and economic circumstances. Importantly, a man's status at the time his first child is born is strongly predictive of his marital status when his other children are born. To the extent that marital births are associated with better outcomes for children and adults, this research suggests that any efforts to reduce men´s unwed births should be concentrated on delaying first births until after marriage.

Report Title: Marital and Unmarried Births to Men: Complex Patterns of Fatherhood, Evidence from the National Survey of Family Growth, 2002,
Agency Sponsor: ASPE-OHSP, Office of Human Services Policy
Federal Contact:
Linda Mellgren, 202-690-6806
Performer: Steven Nock, University of Virginia

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"PerformanceImprovement2008.pdf" (pdf, 1.29Mb)

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