WASHINGTON, May 6 (UPI) — U.S. mothers today are older, better educated and more likely to be unmarried than they were in 1990, researchers found.
An analysis of a nationwide Pew Research Center survey, the National Center for Health Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau found in 2008, 41 percent of U.S. births were to women who were not married compared to 28 percent in 1990.
In 1990, 13 percent of new mothers were teenagers, but that dropped to 10 percent in 2009 while 9 percent of mothers in 1990 were age 35 and older compared to 14 percent today.
Fifty-three percent of U.S. mothers in 2008 were white, down from 65 percent in 1990, while births to Hispanic women are currently one-in-four.
Fifty-four percent of mothers in 2006 had some college education, up from 41 percent in 1990, but for mothers age 35 and older 71 percent had some college.
U.S. births had been increasing from 2003 to 2007, but then declined by 66,000, due to the economic downturn, the analysis said.
Overall, the nation’s birth rate has declined 20 percent from 1990. Forty-three percent of today’s mothers had two children, 22 percent had one or three children, 8 percent had four children and 4 percent had five or more children.
Fifty years after birth control pills, the majority said they had their first child for “the joy of having children,” but nearly half say “there wasn’t a reason; it just happened,” the survey indicated.
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