CDC: U.S. Fertility Rate Hits Record Low for 2nd Straight Year; 40.7% of Babies Born to Unmarried Women


( - The fertility rate of women in the United States fell to a record low for the second year in a row in 2012, according to data released last week by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Also for the second year in a row, 40.7 percent of the babies born in the United States were born to unmarried mothers.

The fertility rate is the number of births per 1,000 women aged 15-44. In 2012–according to the Dec. 30, 2013 CDC report “Births: Final Data for 2012"–the U.S. fertility rate was 63.0. That was down from 63.2 in 2011, the previous all-time low.


Not good news! :frowning:


Why get married? The government will take care of you.


It is beyond just lower income women. Women at all income levels are having children without a husband. Sure it’s much more prevalent with poorer women, but it is a huge cultural shift too.

Marriage is just not the same. It used to be the start of an adult life. Now it is either completely disregarded or seen as the end step after the relationship has been consummated. And one or more children are born. You get married as a final step instead of a first one.


My wife and I know of a friend who has recently gotten married to her boyfriend after about 10 years of them living together. I don’t have the nerve to ask her why they waited so long to get married and what made them change their mind. So, all I did was congratulate them on their marriage.


I recently read a study (I’ll try to find it again) where the researchers found that younger people today see marriage as a big, important deal. And because they know so many divorced or unhappy couples, they don’t want to get marriage “wrong” so they wait to get married until after they feel secure in a relationship. But of course since sex is seen as a casual “hook-up” kind of thing, they don’t delay sex. And having babies is so normal (Teen Mom type TV shows, celebrities, etc.) that they’ll go ahead a have a child with a partner, but still hold off on marriage.

It is a weird, backward thing and has been almost 100 years in the making ever since birth control went mainstream with the 1930 Lambeth Conference - although obviously the pressure to allow for birth control within marriage was building even before that.

We went from birth control within marriage to no-fault divorce and abortion on demand in just 40 years, to today where almost half of all babies are born to single mothers (and it is higher in Western Europe.) I hope it doesn’t take another 100 years to unwind this mess, but it might.


Sorry, but I had a flashback::


Ack! :eek:

I know a woman who that had one child with her husband. They then divorced and later when the child was a young teen (12-14, not sure exactly), mom decided she wanted another baby and wasn’t going to wait to find another husband (she had been dating), so she picked a sperm donor and got pregnant. This happened just a few years ago. Mom is upper middle-class with a professional career. No one blinked an eye.

The older child is good friends with my niece, and my sister had quite a job to explain why this was not a good idea, but that we weren’t going to shun the baby etc. I’d say that my niece saw absolutely no negative consequences for the mom, the baby, or really even her friend (except maybe not being able to do everything she wanted to because she occasionally now has to watch her younger brother.) With that example, those girls (and their other friends and relatives) are going to say having a baby without a husband may be a problem only because it’s harder to get someone to watch the baby when you want to go out. :rolleyes:


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