‘Unwed pregnancies higher among non-college graduates in US’

Among the less educated adults in the US who are close to 30 years of age, waiting until marriage to have babies has now become “unusual”.

According to a research, the percentage of unwed pregnancies goes up as the women’s education level declines. The numbers are roughly the same for men.

“It is now unusual for non-college graduates who have children in their teenage years and 20s to have all of them within marriage,” said sociologist Andrew J. Cherlin from Johns Hopkins University in the US.

Among parents aged 26 to 31 who did not graduate from college, 74 percent of mothers and 70 percent of fathers had at least one child outside marriage, Cherlin found.

And, 81 percent of births reported by women and 87 percent of births reported by men had occurred to non-college graduates.

“If marriage retains its place anywhere,” Cherlin said, “it would be among the college graduates because most of them do not begin to have children until after they are married.”

For the study, researchers mined data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth in the US, focusing on a sample of 9,000 “early adults” who reached ages 26 to 31 in 2011.

They are the oldest members of the generation commonly known as Millennials.

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