The U.S. Census Bureau announced the release of Social and Economic Characteristics of Currently Unmarried Women with a Recent Birth: 2011. This report incorporates American Community Survey (ACS) estimates. As of 2011, 62 percent of women age 20 to 24 who gave birth in the previous 12 months were unmarried, this compares with 17 percent among women age 35 to 39.
The ACS asks the question on fertility for a variety of reasons, including to help project the future size of the population and to carry out various programs required by law, such as researching matters on child welfare. The analysis is based on separate survey questions on whether women have given birth to any children in the past 12 months and what their marital status is. The statistics in the report are presented at the national and state levels, with a separate table and map containing metropolitan area data.
"This is the first report from the Census Bureau showing geographic variation in recent births to unmarried women, as well as characteristics of the women such as educational attainment," said Rose Kreider, a family demographer with the Census Bureau and one of the report's authors. "The American Community Survey is the nation's exclusive source of data on the demographic characteristics of mothers with this level of geographic detail."
The ACS provides reliable statistics that are indispensable to anyone who has to make informed decisions about the future. These statistics are required by all levels of government to manage or evaluate a wide range of programs, but are also useful for research, education, journalism, business and advocacy. If you have questions about this survey, please call our Customer Services Center on 1 (800) 923-8282.