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Fewer Children Born to Unmarried Women

unmarried-mothersFewer American women who are unmarried are becoming pregnant, with the most notable exception of those over 35, reported health officials on Wednesday.

Births outside marriage continued their slight decline during 2013, accounting for only 40.6% of all U.S. births, according to a Center for Disease Control report.

That rate is 7% lower than its peak during 2008, with a reduction in every age group less than 35 years of age, found the CDC.

The total remains high in comparison with previous generations. However, a decline continues, said the author of the study Sally Curtin a CDC statistician.

The drop off is just recent, added Curtin. Since the 1940s, with the exception of brief periods, there has been nearly a continual increase of childbearing amongst women who are not married, said Curtin.

The statistician said that of all the unmarried births just 15% are to females who are teenagers, with the majority of births in co-habiting unions.

Babies born to women who are unmarried but living with a partner were up from 41% of all U.S. births during 2002 to 58% during the late 2000s. Close to half of those pregnancies had been intended.

The slight fall off in births to unmarried women who are younger since the latter part of the first decade of the 2000s, mirrored the decline for all births in the U.S., added the statistician from the CDC.

The pattern of a drop off started near the onset of the 2007 recession. The areas hardest hit in the economic downturn were where the largest drops in fertility rates were found.

In 2013, births to women who were unmarried totaled over 1.6 million. Nearly 4 out of every 10 births were to women who were not married each year between 2007 and 2013.

Medical experts track the births to women who are unmarried due to them being linked to more of a risk of complications like low birth weight, premature delivery and infant death.

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