About 1 in 4 babies are now born to unmarried couples, a rate that has nearly doubled since 2002, according to a recent report from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The government has previously said that more than 40% of births are to unwed mothers, but the new report offers details showing that most such births occur in couples who aren’t married, but are living together.
“It’s thought that usually in births outside of marriage, one parent isn’t present. But many couples are cohabiting and these children do have two parents present,” says report author Gladys Martinez, a demographer in the CDC’s division of Vital Statistics.
The new data from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics was based on in-person interviews with more than 22,000 men and women aged 15 to 44 during 2006 through 2010, as part of the National Survey of Family Growth. The researchers then compared the data to a similar 2002 survey.