The U.S. Census Bureau released troubling statistics recently in regards to first-time mothers in our country.
According to a report titled “Fertility of Women in the United States: 2012,” the percentage of young first-time mothers who are married is dropping.
In the early 1990s, reportedly a little more than half of all first births by mothers younger than 23 occurred in marriage.
Since 2005, 38% of mothers younger than 23 were cohabiting (or living with someone while unmarried) as oppose to the 24% that were married at the time of their first birth.
That statistic might be hard for Baby Boomers to believe given the way things were 30-40 years ago.
Data used also comes from the 2012 American Community Survey and the 2012 Current Population Survey.
“In this report, we explore changes in women’s relationship status at first birth over time, as well as fertility patterns of women up to age 50,” said demographer Lindsay Monte of the Census Bureau’s Fertility and Family Statistics Branch, and one of the report’s authors. “It’s important to track these changes in fertility because recent research suggests that childbearing is related to women’s rates of employment, their educational attainment, and their economic well-being.”
More highlights from the reports includes:
• The average number of children ever born has dropped from more than three children per woman in 1976 to about two children per woman in 2012. (This combats the theory that our country’s population is getting too big.)
• More than one in five women who gave birth in the year prior to the survey reported living in someone else’s home at the time of the survey. Seventy percent of these women lived in their parents home.
• The nation’s official poverty rate was 15% in 2012, but 48 percent of young women (younger than age 23) who gave birth in the year before the survey lived in households that were below the federal poverty line, and 28% were in extreme poverty (below 50% of the federal poverty line.)
These are all very troubling statistics.
In summary, many young girls under 23 are getting pregnant without a chance to further their education in order to make more take home pay.
This puts many of them living in the poverty level, making it a difficult pathway for raising their children.
Meanwhile, 38% of these young girls are not married and are either living at home with their parents or living with someone that might be a friend or a boyfriend.
This also puts a financial and emotional strain on the parents of these young women as many are living inside the homes of the new grandparents.
Add in the lack of a father figure in so many of these cases today and there’s no wonder so many of our nation’s families are battling through their daily struggles just to get by.
So many families are struggling today because of the way these scenarios are playing themselves out.
Sure, some families are making it fine financially and successfully though they may not be living in a traditional marriage situation.
A 2010 World Health Organization study revealed marriage could reduce the risk of anxiety and depression and those who tied the knot were much less likely to suffer the blues than those who stayed single.
According to ParentalRights.org, parents play an irreplaceable role in the lives of their children. “This vital relationship positively impacts a child’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. The right of parents to maintain a strong involvement in their children’s lives has been continually upheld by Supreme Court doctrine. It is deeply valued by millions of American families.”
There are so many statistics that show the importance of a child having both parents involved in their lives. The traditional setting of having children within the confines of marriage proves scientifically to be the best for families. Unfortunately, through splits and divorce, this scenario may never be the higher percentage again.