Pew Research Indicates Significant Shifts in Demographics of Motherhood

More American women are delaying marriage and parenting than in decades past.

A Pew Research Center piece indicates that career goals increasingly trump family considerations for well-educated women, and that the number of fatherless households is on the rise across a broad set of demographics.

One fascinating trend is the role reversal from teen pregnancies and birth for women 35 and older has completely flipped in the past two decades. In 1990, 13 percent of all births were from teen girls and 9 percent came from women in their mid-30s and older. In 2008, 10 percent of births were attributable to teens and 14 percent were for women 35 and older.

Forty-one percent of births were to unmarried women in 2008, up sharply from 28 percent in 1990. New mothers are also better educated than they were 20 years ago, with 54 percent of women who gave birth in 2006 having at least some college education compared to 41 percent in 1990.

Another reflection of the growing diversity of American society, white women made up 53 percent of mothers in 2008, down from 65 percent in 1990. Birth rates among Hispanic women have rocketed from 14 percent in 1990 to 24 percent in ’08.

Tack this data on to findings from The Barna Group released yesterday about teens putting a far greater emphasis on education, careers and social development than prospective marriage and parenting, and it doesn’t take an expert statistician to see how rapidly demographic and cultural shifts will shape American culture in the coming decades.

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