Fertility, Contraception, and Fatherhood: Data on Men and Women from the National Survey of Family Growth

For Immediate Release: May 31, 2006

Contact: CDC National Center for Health Statistics Press Office (301) 458-4800

E-mail: paoquery@cdc.gov

Fertility, Contraception, and Fatherhood: Data on Men and Women From Cycle 6 (2002) of the National Survey of Family Growth. (PHS) 2006-1978. 156 pp. [PDF – 3 MB]

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a comprehensive report on fertility, contraception, and fatherhood indicators among men 15-44 years of age in the United States. The data are from the National Survey of Family Growth conducted in 2002. It’s the latest survey of this type, and–for the first time–this large-scale, nationwide survey includes men. Whenever appropriate, the findings for men and women are contrasted. Men’s and women’s reproductive experiences vary significantly, and often sharply, by characteristics such as education, income, and Hispanic origin and race.

  • Teen fathers – Among non-Hispanic black fathers, 25 percent fathered their first child before they were 20 years old; 19 percent of Hispanic fathers also became fathers as teenagers, and 11 percent of non-Hispanic white men became fathers while they were teens.
  • Nonmarital childbearing – About one-half of the men without a high school education have fathered a child outside of marriage compared with about 6 percent among college graduates.
  • Child support – About three-quarters of the 28 million men who have children (under age 19) live with those children. Among fathers who live apart from their children, 85 percent of fathers with higher incomes contributed to their children’s support on a regular basis, compared with 64 percent of fathers with income below the poverty level.
  • Marriage and divorce – A third of men marry by age 25; almost two-thirds marry by age 30. Among women, one-half are married by the time they are 25 and three-quarters by age 30. Overall, men marry later in life than women. The average woman marries a man 2 years older than she. One-half of the men who married as teenagers were divorced or separated within 10 years, compared with 17 percent of men who married at 26 years or over.
  • Sexual activity – Men who did not live with both parents at age 14 were more likely to have had sexual intercourse during the teenage years (19 or younger) compared with those who lived with both parents at age 14.