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Diapers: Check. Pacifier: Check. Marriage? Maybe

October 12, 2012

The number of babies born out of wedlock has grown steadily since 1980 and now accounts for 41% of all U.S. births.

41% of the babies born in the US in 2009 were born out of wedlock. That’s 1.7 million children – more than the population of our fifth largest city, Philadelphia. 30 percent of white children were born to unmarried parents, 50 percent of Hispanic children, and 70 percent of African-American children.

The marriage-optional trend didn’t arrive out of the blue. Out-of-wedlock births have been rising steadily in the US since 1980, when the figure was 18.4 percent. In today’s infographic we provide a 50-state map showing the out-of-wedlock birth rate for each state. Click to see it full-size and compare your state with others.

Then compare your views with others in today’s discussion thread. Why do you think this is happening? Are you concerned? If not, say so. If so, what do you think government, institutions, or individuals should do?