Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Baby makes 3: More unmarried new moms cohabiting
First Published Aug 13 2014 11:01 am • Last Updated Aug 13 2014 08:29 pm

Nearly three in five births to unmarried women across the United States were to women living with their partner — marking the first time a majority of these births were to women in cohabiting relationships, according to a new analysis of federal data released Wednesday.

The increase was sharp; the percentage of nonmarital births within cohabiting relationships rose to 58 percent from 41 percent in just a few years, says the report, based on various data sources from the National Center for Health Statistics, collected between 2002 and 2013, the most recent available.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"What’s happened is the percent of nonmarital births within cohabiting unions has been increasing, but now it’s increased to the point where the majority of nonmarital births are to women that are cohabiting," said Sally Curtin, the report’s co-author.

While the births in cohabiting relationships increased, the number, rate and percentage of births to unmarried women overall declined during the same period.

In 2013, the total of 1,605,643 births to unmarried women was the lowest since 2005. The birthrate for unmarried women has steadily declined. The peak was 2007–08, with 51.8 births per 1,000 women, compared with 44.8 per 1,000 last year. That 14 percent decline was the steepest ever, the report says. And the percentage of births to unmarried women declined slightly, to 40.6 percent in 2013 from 40.7 percent the previous year.

The new report reflects what demographer Sam Sturgeon, of Taylorsville, Utah, has seen in his data analysis as president of Demographic Intelligence, a for-profit company that provides fertility forecasts for consumer products.

Sturgeon predicts that the rate of nonmarital childbearing has stabilized to the point it will remain flat through 2016, marking an about-face from the increases seen for decades. His latest projections, provided to USA Today, suggest that the year-over-year increases in the percentage of children born to unmarried parents has slowed. He estimates that by 2016 births overall will increase for all groups of women, except teens.

"The post-recession birth decline is over," he said. "We are predicting that births will trend up among every group except teenagers in the next few years."

The birth data for unmarried women are the latest in a series of new data reflecting a leveling of once rapidly increasing changes in how families are created, Sturgeon said.

"A lot of family-related statistics have started to level out," he said. "The marriage rate was declining for years pretty consistently, and now it seems to have leveled out.

story continues below
story continues below

The divorce rate was going up and seems to have leveled out. The number of children growing up with two married parents declined for many years but also seems to have flattened out. We’ve seen kind of a stabilization of family in America."

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.