Immigration Unmentioned In Increased Illegitimacy Story
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Libertarian Cathy Young has a column in Reason Magazine about a report on increased births to "single mothers." [Women and Children First Understanding why single motherhood is on the rise, May 21, 2009] But her column doesn't include the words "immigration" or "Hispanic," which means that she's missing a major part of the trend, something we've been covering since the year 2000. However, she  does link to the original report, "Changing Patterns of Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States",  from the National Center for Health Statistics, and they have the facts—Hispanic women have illegitimate children at over three times the rate of non-Hispanic whites, and one and a half times that of African-American women. And there are lot of Hispanics.

How have nonmarital birth rates varied by race and Hispanic origin?

Birth rates for unmarried women have varied fairly consistently by race and Hispanic origin. The rates for Hispanic women (106 births per 1,000 unmarried women in 2006) and black women (72 per 1,000) were highest. Birth rates for unmarried non-Hispanic white (32 per 1,000) and Asian or Pacific Islander (API) women (26 per 1,000) were much lower.

figure 3 is a bar chart showing birth rates for unmarried women by race and ethnicity of the mother for 1995, 2002 and 2006.

From 1995 to 2002, the nonmarital birth rate for black women declined 12%. Rates for non-Hispanic white and Hispanic women were essentially unchanged during these years.

In the recent period 2002—2006, birth rates for unmarried non-Hispanic white women rose by 14% and for black women by 9%, while the rates climbed 20% for Hispanic women and 24% for API women.

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