Race-Ethnic Differences in the Non-Marital Fertility Rates in 2006-2010

Yujin Kim, University of Texas at Austin
Kelly Raley, University of Texas at Austin

Research in the 1980s pointed to the lower marriage rates of blacks as an important factor contributing to race differences in non-marital fertility. Our analyses update and extend this prior work to investigate whether cohabitation has become an important contributor to this variation. We use data from the 2006–2010 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) and to identify the relative contribution of population composition (i.e. percent sexually active single and percent cohabiting) versus rates (pregnancy rates, post-conception marriage rates) to race-ethnic variation in non-marital fertility rates (N=7,428). We find that the pregnancy rate among single (not cohabiting) women is the biggest contributor to race-ethnic variation in the non-marital fertility rate and that higher proportions of women using no method of contraception among racial minorities explains the majority of the race-ethnic differences in pregnancy rates.

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Presented in Session 13: Race and Ethnicity and Families