Report shows increase in pregnancies out of marriage

Jul 6, 2011

Laura Weber reports: 

Two-thirds of all babies born to Michigan women in their early twenties are born out of wedlock. That’s according to a new report from the Michigan League for Human Services.

The reports shows a significant uptick over the past decade in the number of babies born out of wedlock to women in their twenties.

Jane Zehnder-Merrell is with the League. She says teen pregnancies out of wedlock used to be more prevalent.  

“It used to be that teens represented a pretty large share of births to unmarried women. Well now they represent 20 percent of births to unmarried women.”

The report also indicates Michigan is doing better than many other states in the number of mothers who receive prenatal care and the number of women without a high school education who have children.

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The Detroit Free Press reports that the percentage of births to unmarried women increased 6% overall.

From the Freep:

The Kids Count in Michigan study found that about 40% percent of births in 2009 were to unmarried woman, compared to 34% in 2000 – a 20% increase.

In 2009, the largest number of births – 34,515 – was among women ages 25-29. Unmarried women under age 25 accounted for 75% of all births.

The greatest percentage increase of births to unmarried mothers was among white women – a 27% jump, compared to a 23% increase among African Americans and 6% increase among Hispanic women. 

The original report is available here--http://www.milhs.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/RightStartJuly2011.pdf

-Brian Short, Michigan Radio Newsroom