NCHS Data Briefs
NCHS Data Brief, No. 162 - Recent Declines in Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States
There were sharp increases in nonmarital childbearing from 2002 to 2007, following the steady increases beginning in the 1980s. The upward trends have mainly reversed since 2007–2008. In addition, the nature of nonmarital childbearing may be changing as cohabiting unions have increased over the last few decades in the United States along with pregnancies within those unions. Births to unmarried women are at greater risk for adverse outcomes, including low birth weight, preterm birth, and infant mortality. Social and financial supports for unmarried mothers may be limited. This report describes recent trends in nonmarital births from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) and in cohabitation for unmarried mothers using data from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG).