More than half of births to American women under the age of 30 occur outside of marriage, the New York Times reported yesterday.
In all age groups, births outside of marriage have become steadily more common. In 2009, 41 percent of American women were unmarried when they had children, the Times said.
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Experts think that the poor economy has made marriage a much less attractive option for women, even women who have children. They note that wealthy people are much more likely to marry.
The Times went to Lorain, Ohio, where 63 percent of all births to women under 30 are outside of marriage. The industrial town has been especially hurt by the faltering economy, making young men more likely to be unemployed or in trouble with the law.
“A baby makes a woman grow up, but not a man,” one young Lorain mother told the Times. “I can’t imagine ever depending on a man. I don’t trust them.”
It's not just mothers that are avoiding marriage. In December, a report showed that the percentage of married adults in the United States fell to 51 percent, an record low, CBS News reported.