About 41 percent of all births are to unmarried mothers. But more than 50 percent of mothers younger than 30 are unmarried. The rise is intertwined with economic and class issues.
Among mothers of all ages, a majority — 59 percent in 2009 — are married when they have children. But the surge of births outside marriage among younger women — nearly two-thirds of children in the United States are born to mothers under 30 — is both a symbol of the transforming family and a hint of coming generational change.
One group still largely resists the trend: college graduates, who overwhelmingly marry before having children. That is turning family structure into a new class divide, with the economic and social rewards of marriage increasingly reserved for people with the most education.
“Marriage has become a luxury good,” said Frank Furstenberg, a sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania.
This is all wrong of course. The traditional, nuclear family has been ruined by the desire of gay people to marry. Maryland's legislature is only the latest to endorse this.
PS — 45 percent of all births in Arkansas in 2009, the most recent data, were out of wedlock.