Births and Birth Rates for Unmarried Women in the United States, Selected Years 1940–2015

Births and Birth Rates to Unmarried Women in the United States, Selected Years 1940–2015

These figures illustrate trends in births to unmarried women since 1940. Highlighted here are number of births and birth rates by selected demographic characteristics. Data for some race or ethnicity groups are not available for the entire time period for each dashboard. Please see the notes for detailed information about availability for specific demographic categories.

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Births to Unmarried Women by Age Group - The following data tables describe the currently displayed dashboard

click the titlebars to expand / collapse Data tables


† Methods for collecting information on marital status changed over the reporting period and have been documented in:

†† National data on births by Hispanics origin exclude data for Louisiana, New Hampshire, and Oklahoma in 1989; for New Hampshire and Oklahoma in 1990; for New Hampshire in 1991 and 1992. Information on reporting Hispanic origin is detailed in the Technical Appendix for the 1999 public-use natality data file (see ( icon.)

‡ All birth data by race before 1980 are based on race of the child. Starting in 1980, birth data by race are based on race of the mother. For race, data are available for Black and White births beginning in 1980, and for Asian/Pacific Islander births beginning in 2000. Data for Hispanic births are available beginning in 1990 and for non-Hispanic White births beginning in 1994.



CDC/NCHS, National Vital Statistics System, birth data (see; public-use data files (see; and CDC WONDER (see



  1. Curtin SC, Ventura SJ, Martinez GM. Recent declines in nonmarital childbearing in the United States. NCHS data brief, no 162. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2014. Available from: icon.
  2. Martin JA, Hamilton BE, Osterman MJK, et al. Births: Final data for 2015. National vital statistics reports; vol 66 no 1. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2017. Available from: icon.


Suggested citation:

Driscoll AK, Hamilton BE, Curtin SC, Chong Y, Lu L, et al. Births and birth rates for unmarried women: United States, selected years 1940–2015. National Center for Health Statistics. 2017.

Designed by Y Chong, BE Hamilton, L Rossen, A Lipphardt, and JM Keralis: CDC/National Center for Health Statistics.

Page last reviewed: September 14, 2017