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The New Single Motherhood

November 08, 1995|DEBORAH ZABARENKO | REUTERS

WASHINGTON — One American child in four is born out of wedlock, and single mothers are becoming older and richer, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday.

Although the overall U.S. rate of single motherhood had dropped slightly from 1992, the figures showed a significant increase among affluent, white, well-educated working women, said Amara Bachu, who wrote the Census Bureau's report, which confirms similar findings released two weeks ago by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The big boom in out-of-wedlock births was among women in their 30s whose biological clocks were ticking loudly, said Bachu, a statistician and demographer.

The total birth rate for U.S. women age 30 to 34 was 90 per 1,000 women in 1994, the most recent year available, according to the study. That is nearly double the 56.4 rate in 1976.

The report showed that 26% of total U.S. births were to single mothers in 1994, down from 30% in 1992. Statistics for 1992 show that the 30% rate of U.S. births to unmarried women was comparable to that in other developed countries, including 29% in Canada, 33% in France and 31% in Britain.

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