Thursday, March 19, 2009

More babies, but fewer marriages

An AP article reports that the US is currently experiencing a baby boom (something attested to in our JPBC nursery which is overflowing at present!). That's the good news. The bad news is that 40% of those children were born to unwed mothers (as the article puts it, "a wedding band made increasingly little difference in the matter"). What will be the social repercusions of this? Here's how the article begins:
ATLANTA – Remember the baby boom? No, not the one after World War II. More babies were born in the United States in 2007 than any other year in the nation's history — and a wedding band made increasingly little difference in the matter. The 4,317,119 births, reported by federal researchers Wednesday, topped a record first set in 1957 at the height of the baby boom.

Behind the number is both good and bad news. While it shows the U.S. population is more than replacing itself, a healthy trend, the teen birth rate was up for a second year in a row.

The birth rate rose slightly for women of all ages, and births to unwed mothers reached an all-time high of about 40 percent, continuing a trend that started years ago. More than three-quarters of these women were 20 or older.

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