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Youth Indicators, 2005: Trends in the Well-Being of American Youth

Indicator 8: Births to Unmarried Females

Figure 8. Birth rates for unmarried females, by age group and race of mother: Various years, 1950 to 2002

Birth rates for unmarried females, by age group and race of mother: Various years, 1950 to 2002
1Includes persons of Hispanic origin.
NOTE: For years 1980 to 1999, data for states in which marital status was not reported have been inferred from other items on the birth certificate and included with data from the reporting states. For years prior to 1980, births to unmarried females are estimated for the United States based on data from areas in which marital status of mother was reported.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics, Vital Statistics of the United States, 1997, Volume I, Natality; and National Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 49, nos. 1, 5; Vol. 50, no. 10; Vol. 52, no. 10.

Between 1950 and 2002, birth rates for all unmarried females ages 15 to 19 and 20 to 24 increased substantially, especially during the 1980s. Since 1990, the overall birth rates for young unmarried females have been relatively stable; however, the patterns for Black and White females differ. For females ages 20 to 24, the birth rate for White females has increased from 48 live births per 1,000 unmarried females in 1990 to 62 in 2002, while the rate for Black females has decreased from 145 live births per 1,000 unmarried females in 1990 to 119 in 2002. In 2002, the birth rate for Hispanic females ages 20 to 24 (131 live births per 1,000 unmarried females) was over two times the birth rate for White females and higher than the birth rate for Black females. Birth rates for Black and Hispanic females ages 15 to 19 (65 and 66 live births per 1,000 unmarried females, respectively) were about three times higher than the birth rate for non-Hispanic White females in 2002 (22 live births per 1,000 unmarried females).


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