Increase in children born to unmarried parents

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Unmarried Couples on Wednesday, October 3, 2012.

The times are certainly changing as the average rate for marriage increases, the divorce rate also increases, and more unmarried couples have children.

According to “Household Change in the United States,” which is an analysis based on Current Population Survey data; the once predominant norm of getting married and having children is starting to decrease. In fact, back in 1960 the household rate for couples with children reached 44 percent. In 2010 this same demographic made up just 20 percent of households.

Other findings from the survey also found that while the marriage rate is decreasing among people between the ages of 25 and 34, the median age for marriage is increasing. Now, for men the average age at marriage is 28.1. For women it’s 26.5. The thought is this will continue to increase with many people staying unmarried until the age of 40.

Additionally, the number of children born to unmarried parents is increasing. In 2000, 33 percent of all births were to unmarried parents. In 2010 this demographic increased to 41 percent. Women in their 20s also make up a rather large portion of this demographic, with 63 percent of births for women between the ages of 20 and 24 occurring among those who are unmarried. This does not necessarily mean the women are single, as cohabitation has also become a more accepted and popular trend.

As the rate of cohabitation and children being born out of wedlock continues to increase, it is important the fathers of these children take an active role in protecting their rights as a parent. This does not merely mean having a name on a birth certificate — as this does not actually secure any custodial rights — but rather establishing paternity early on. This way, if the couple were to break up, the father would still be a part of their child’s life.

Source: Newsroom American, “New Report On U.S. Households Finds Fewer Marriages, More Unwed Parents,” Sept. 26, 2012

  • Our firm helps to protect the rights of unmarried parents. To learn more about our firm, please visit our St. Louis family law page.

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