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US births up, out-of-wedlock births stop rising; immigrant mothers account for difference

October 27, 2016

The number of American children born to unmarried mothers, which has been rising for years, is levelling off, according to a Pew Research study.

Also, the number of births in the US seems to be trending slightly upward, from 3.74 million in 1970 to 4 million in 2014, the Pew study found. The number of births had dropped markedly during the recession beginning in 2008.

Both the rise in births and the drop in births to unmarried mothers are attributable to new immigrants, Pew found. About one-third of all births to foreign-born mothers were out of wedlock; among US-born women that figure stands substantially higher, at 42%. Foreign-born women accounted for 901,000 births in 2014, more than three times the number in that category for 1970. The number of births to US-born women has dropped over that same period, from 3.46 million in 1970 to 3.1 million in 2014.

 
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