Allen S. Maller

Unmarried couple’s births now exceed single moms

It should not be a surprise that nearly three in five births to unmarried women in America last year, were to unmarried women who were just living with their partner, because the recent rise in people who do not believe in marriage, goes along with the recent rise in people who do not believe in religion.

But last year marked the first time in American history that a majority of births to unmarried women, were to women in cohabiting relationships, according to a new analysis of federal data released August 13, 2014.

The increase was sharp; the percentage of non-marital births within cohabiting relationships rose to 58 percent from 41 percent in just one decade, says the report, based on data from the National Center for Health Statistics, collected between 2002 and 2013.

“What’s happened is the percent of non-marital births within cohabiting unions has been increasing, but now it’s increased to the point where the majority of non-marital births are to women that are cohabiting,” said Sally Curtin, the report’s co-author.

This is not because of a rise in births to single woman. While births in cohabiting relationships increased, the number, rate and percentage of births to unmarried women overall declined.

It is the institution of marriage itself that is increasingly being abandoned; and this is connected to the recent decline in loyalty to religious and political institutions in America.

In 2013, the total of 1,605,643 births to unmarried women was the lowest since 2005. The birthrate for unmarried women has steadily declined. The peak was 2007–08, with 51.8 births per 1,000 women, compared with 44.8 per 1,000 last year. That 14 percent decline was the steepest ever, the report says.

The marriage rate has been declining for years pretty consistently. The divorce rate doubled in the 70’s and 80’s, but in the last two decades has leveled out.

Yet now, as a result of the steady rise of self centered, non-religious Americans, the majority of new unmarried mothers are no longer teen agers or abandoned women, but couples who believe having a child doesn’t require having a commitment to marriage.

Since couples living together split up more frequently than married couples; this does not bode well for the next generation of children in America.

About the Author
Rabbi Allen S. Maller has published over 850 articles on Jewish values in over a dozen Christian, Jewish, and Muslim magazines and web sites. Rabbi Maller is the author of "Tikunay Nefashot," a spiritually meaningful High Holy Day Machzor, two books of children's short stories, and a popular account of Jewish Mysticism entitled, "God, Sex and Kabbalah." His most recent books are "Judaism and Islam as Synergistic Monotheisms' and "Which Religion Is Right For You?: A 21st Century Kuzari" both available on Amazon.