Non-marital births by education level as part of the growing class divide

by Grace

Declining marriage rates and non-marital births are only a problem for those without college degrees. (Assuming you believe this is a problem, of course.) Here’s the stark data.

CHARLES MURRAY has been harshly criticized for writing about this trend in his latest book,  Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010, but it seems the New York Times has also not been shy about reporting how education and race correlate with non-marital births.

Large racial differences remain: 73 percent of black children are born outside marriage, compared with 53 percent of Latinos and 29 percent of whites. And educational differences are growing. About 92 percent of college-educated women are married when they give birth, compared with 62 percent of women with some post-secondary schooling and 43 percent of women with a high school diploma or less, according to Child Trends.… Others noted that if they married, their official household income would rise, which could cost them government benefits like food stamps and child care…. Reviewing the academic literature, Susan L. Brown of Bowling Green State University recently found that children born to married couples, on average, “experience better education, social, cognitive and behavioral outcomes.”

Just talking about these issues of class, education, and race sometimes leads to charges of racism.  Curiously, the NY Times chose not to allow comments on their stories referenced in this post.  Maybe they were afraid the topic would generate excessive inflammatory rhetoric.

UPDATE:   One single mom is upset that the liberal elite have joined conservatives in moralizing about fatherless children.

More Single Moms. So What.  –  The New York Times condescends to single moms.
This proud single mother and NYU journalism professor, who is definitely not “too poor to marry,” is insulted by a New York Times article on the 53 percent illegitimate-birth rate among females under 30, which she thinks covertly telegraphs the message that unwed moms can’t in fact do it all… Marriage, Roiphe reveals triumphantly, “does not ensure eternal love, or even eternal security.” Now we know.

Young Mothers Describe Marriage’s Fading Allure – NYTimes, 2/18/12

Five myths about white people – Washington Post, 2/10/12

Related:  College-educated women marry at higher rates


3 Comments to “Non-marital births by education level as part of the growing class divide”

  1. Here’s a piece that goes one step further:

    The title is: “I want to be my kid’s only parent.”


  2. I can only echo one of the commenters over there – “naive” and “troubling”.


  3. If you stick to it until the end, you’ll see that the author envisions eventual romantic companionship, it’s just that she believes that somehow it will be more successful to have a baby as a single mom and then find a guy, rather than to choose a guy and then have and raise a baby with him. ????

    It would be interesting to see an account of Olien’s childhood from Olien’s mom’s perspective. I expect it wasn’t quite as idyllic a situation for her, or for Olien’s grandmother, for that matter. Olien talks about getting support from family and friends, but it sounds like she’s an only child, so support from what family?. And maybe she should run her plan by her mom first? And maybe a therapist?

    Hopefully this was just comment bait, rather than a seriously worked-out plan. .


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