Published August 23, 2012
- Nearly 40% of all births in the United States were to unmarried women in 2007. In 1980, that rate was only 18.4%. Stephanie J. Ventura, “Changing Patterns of Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States.” National Center for Health Statistics, May 2009.
- In 2007, there were 1,714,643 births to unmarried women, an increase of 26% since 2002. Ventura, “Changing Patterns of Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States.” National Center for Health Statistics. May 2009.
- Almost half (48%) of all nonmarital first births are to teen parents. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, “Why it Matters: Teen Pregnancy, Out-of-Wedlock Births, Healthy Relationships and Marriage.” 2006.
- Two years after the birth of an unplanned child, about one third of mothers living with the father have ended the relationship, compared to only 7% of married mothers. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. “Briefly…Unplanned Pregnancy Among 20-Somethings: The Full Story.” May 2008.
Hamilton County and Tennessee Facts and Figures
- In Tennessee in 2007, there were 4,395 pregnancies among girls aged 10-17. African-American teens had a pregnancy rate of 24.5 per 1,000 vs. a rate of 10.9 per 1,000 for white teens. Tennessee Department of Health
- In Hamilton County, teenagers aged 10 to 19 accounted for 671 pregnancies in 2007. 366 of those pregnancies were to Caucasian teens and 302 were to African-American Teens. Tennessee Department of Health
- From 1999 to 2008, the adolescent birthrates in Tennessee dropped, but the percentage of births to unmarried women increased. Tennessee Department of Health, “Report of Tennessee Births.” September 2009
- In 2006, 43.9% of the births in Hamilton County were to unwed mothers, compared to 41.4% statewide. Kids Count Data Book
- Among all the states, Tennessee has the 8th highest birth rate among teens aged 15 to 19. Lindsay Lyon. “Teen Birthrates: Where Does Your State Rank?” U.S. News & World Report. January 8, 2009.
- In 1998, 35 percent or 1,320 children were born outside of marriage in Hamilton County (total births were 3,768). Data collected from area hospitals by First Things First.
- In 1998, 13.6 percent of all the babies born in Hamilton County had mothers under the age of 18. Hamilton County Health Department
- Tennessee was ranked as the third state with the worst percentage of single parent families. Only two states ranked lower. The rises in divorce and out of wedlock births are pointed to as the cause of such a poor ranking. 1995 Kids Count Data Book
- In 2004, 35% of children under 18 in Tennessee were living in families headed by a single parent. The national rate was 32%. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.
- The non-marital birth rate in Tennessee increased 252 percent from 1962 to 1994. The State of the Child in Tennessee, 1995, Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth Report.
Hamilton County Youth Behavior Risk Survey
The 2002 Hamilton County Youth Behavior Risk Survey conducted by the Community Research Council found that:
- 44 percent of area ninth through twelfth graders said they had ever had sexual intercourse, compared to 51 percent statewide and 46 percent nationwide.
- 21 percent of these teens said they had had sexual intercourse for the first time before age 13.
- 30 percent said they had had sexual intercourse in the past three months, compared to 36 percent statewide and 33 percent nationwide.
- 14 percent said they had had four or more sexual partners (16 percent statewide, 14 percent nationally).
- 60 percent of sexually active students said they had used a condom during last sexual intercourse (57 percent statewide, 58 percent nationally). Twelfth grade students were less likely to have used a condom than other grades.
- 5 percent said they had either been pregnant or gotten someone pregnant (6 percent statewide, 5 percent nationally).
- Students from two parent homes were less likely than those from single-parent or parent/stepparent homes to have engaged in sexual activity and other risky behaviors.
- In 2004, teen childbearing in Tennessee cost taxpayers at least $181 million. Between 1991 and 2004, this cost totalled $3.3 billion. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. “By the Numbers: The Public Costs of Teen Childbearing in Tennessee.” November 2006.
- Nationally, the healthcare costs alone to the children of teen mothers (Medicaid and SCHIP) is nearly $2 billion each year. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. “Why it Matters: Teen Pregnancy and Other Health Issues.” 2006
- In the United States, about 72% of births to teen mothers are financed by Medicaid. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. “Why it Matters: Teen Pregnancy and Other Health Issues.” 2006
- 53 percent of the cost of AFDC, food stamps, and Medicaid is attributed to households begun by teen births. Kathleen Sylvester, “Preventable Calamity: Rolling Back Teen Pregnancy,” Progressive Policy Institute Policy Report, No. 22 Nov. 1994
- It is estimated that illegitimate births cost taxpayers $2.2 billion in welfare and food stamps each year. Rebecca Maynard, Kids Having Kids
- 80 percent of teenage mothers end up in poverty and reliant on welfare. Maynard, Kids Having Kids
- Approximately 30 percent of all welfare recipients start because they have an out-of-wedlock birth. Michael Tanner, CATO Congressional Testimony, March 9, 1995
- Half of unwed teen mothers go on welfare within a year of the child’s birth. Within five years 77 percent of these mothers are still on welfare. Michael Tanner, CATO Congressional Testimony, March 9, 1995
- More than 75% of unmarried teen mothers began receiving welfare support within five years of the birth of their first child. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Preganancy. “Why it Matters: Teen Pregnancy, Poverty, and Income Disparity.” 2006.
- More than half of all mothers on welfare had their first child as a teenager. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Preganancy. “Why it Matters: Teen Pregnancy, Poverty, and Income Disparity.” 2006.
- 84% of the health care costs for infants of mothers aged 18-19 are provided through public programs. 75% of the health care costs for preschool-aged children of mothers younger than 18 are provided through public programs. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. “Why it Matters: Teen Pregnancy and Other Health Issues.” 2006.