More babies born to unmarried but cohabiting couples

Mirroring the overall decline in U.S. births, preliminary data show that in 2013 there were 1,605,643 births to unmarried women, 7 percent lower than the all-time peak in 2008 of 1,726,566 births.

Birth rates were down more for unmarried black and Hispanic women than for unmarried non-Hispanic white women. According to the report, about four in 10 U.S. births were to unmarried women in each year from 2007 through 2013. Although today’s stats show a drop in number of births from a 2008 peak, they are still much higher than the 1980 total of 665,747 nonmarital births and 18 times higher than the 1940 total of 89,500.

It’s no secret that older moms are experiencing a baby boom. Among women ages 35 to 39, the new report shows, the rate of nonmarital births was 7 percent higher in 2012, 31 births per 1,000, compared to 2007’s 29 births per 1,000. The nonmarital birth rate for women ages 40 to 44 increased to nine births per 1,000 in 2012, a 29 percent jump compared to 2007’s seven per 1,000 births.