Sunday, October 23, 2005

Census Bureau Analysis of Family Structure Shows Marked Geographic Patterns

The Census Bureau, in a report containing an analysis of family structure issued last week, found that variables at the state level show that there are marked geographic patterns. States with populations that had a high estimated median age at first marriage tend to have had higher proportions of unmarried-couple households and lower proportions of married-couple households. Geographic differences in the proportion of women with infants living below the poverty level correlated with low levels of labor force participation, high proportions of births among teenagers, and high proportions of births among unmarried mothers. The report also estimated the median age at first marriage in the United States for 2000-2003 was 27 and 25 years old for men and women respectively. For 2000-2003, 29 percent of women with a birth in the last year were unmarried in the United States. Most states in the South had a higher percentage of mothers with a birth in the last year who were unmarried impared with the national average. Among mothers with a birth in the last year in the United States, 23 percent were below the poverty level for 2000-2003; 12 percent of all married mothers with a birth in the last year were below the poverty level; and half of all unmarried mothers with a birth in the last year were below the poverty level. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division, Fertility & Family Statistics Branch. October 13 revision. For more information and a copy of the full report, please click here (last visited October 23, 2005, reo).

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