42 Million Babies Born to Unmarried Mothers Over Last 30 Years

By Terence P. Jeffrey | February 20, 2018 | 11:25 AM EST

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(CNSNews.com) - The percentage of babies born to unmarried mothers dipped below 40 percent for the first time in 9 years in 2016, dropping to 39.8 percent, according to the final birth-data report for that year published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

However, there were 1,569,796 babies born to unmarried mothers in the United States during that year, according to the report. That made 2016 the 29th straight year (1988-2016) that more than a million babies were born in the United States to unmarried mothers.

Over the past 30 years on record (1987-2016), according to CDC data, there have been 120,777,366 babies born in the United States and 42,015,749 of those babies—or 34.78 percent—were born to unmarried mothers.

1987 was the last year fewer than 1 million babies were born to unmarried mothers. That year, 933,013 babies were born to unmarried mothers, according to the CDC.

In 1988, the number of babies born to unmarried mothers climbed beyond the 1-million mark to 1,005,299. Since then, it has never dropped below one million.

The number of babies born to unmarried mothers hit an all-time high of 1,726,566 in 2008.

In 1940, the percentage of American babies born to unmarried mothers was 3.8 percent, according to the CDC. That year there were only 89,500 babies born to unmarried mothers.

In the period since 1940, the percentage of babies born to unmarried mothers hit 5 percent for the first time in 1958. Eleven years later, in 1969, it hit 10 percent for the first time. In 1983, it topped 20 percent for the first time. In 1992, it topped 30 percent for the first time. And, in 2008, it topped 40 percent for the first time.

In each of the years from 2009 through 2015, the percentage of babies born to unmarried mothers stayed above 40 percent. Then, in 2016, it dropped to 39.8 percent.

In 2016, 3,945,875 babies were born in the United States, and 1,569,796 (39.8 percent) were born to unmarried mothers.

 


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