More cohabitating couples having children
A recent study said one-fourth of women aged 15 to 44 between 2006 and 2010 had a baby before their first marriage.
April 12th, 2012
05:23 PM ET

More cohabitating couples having children

By Jacque Wilson, CNN

(CNN) - After publishing a report Tuesday on the record low teen birth rate, the National Center for Health Statistics is releasing more numbers on babies in America.

Gladys Martinez and her colleagues at the NCHS have written a report on the fertility of men and women aged 15 to 44 in the U.S. based on numbers from the National Survey of Family Growth that was taken between 2006 and 2010. The survey collected data from more than 22,000 face-to-face interviews.

A few interesting tidbits emerged from the report. The NCHS survey found that a greater proportion of births to unmarried couples are happening in households with cohabitating partners than in years past.

Read the full post on CNN's The Chart blog 

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Filed under: Family • Relationships • Who we are • Women
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. KM

    the statistics and research are clear. children brought into the world by married parents have higher success in education and lower rates of school dropout and incarceration. people need to stop being so damn selfish, if you DONT want to marry them why have a baby by them...AND on top of that. yes it is just a piece of paper that in case of death shows clear kinship among other things it benefits for.

    its funny how people will say oh its a piece of paper and just legal and wont get married but then these single women w/kids will file for welfare,section 8, food stamps, wic in a heartbeat..didnt care about asking uncle tom then did yA?

    April 16, 2012 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
  2. MJ

    This is the collapse of our civilization. Babies must be brought into the world by a married father and mother, period. Values are values and have nothing to do with the coming into the "modern" world and the old saw about "being in the 21st century". Nothing destroys a society as much as the breakdown of the true and real family unit, not some made up "modern" families going against nature.

    April 15, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Paul

    Cohabitating. Most of the privileges/benefits of marriage without the responsibility or commitment to each other. That's what it's all about. And to those of you that think your situation is different, it's not.

    April 15, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      It is truly a SAD comment on society and even MORE TRAGIC comment on this generation of children being raised without parents who care about them.

      April 15, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • Oleg

        Read again, this is about couples who are living together and are there for the children.

        April 15, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. minerva

    Interesting that an article about cohabiting couples having children would use a photo of a couple with wedding rings on.

    April 14, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Gaebriel

    I wonder about the effects cohabiting has on the children. If there is no commitment are we creating an insecure environment for them. One wonders if this culture of cohabiting is the cause for all the emotional and psychological dysfunction a growing number in our population are experiencing, not to mention the heritage of pleasure without commitment we are teaching our children.

    April 13, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • tnfeminist

      what difference does a marriage certificate make? it's a piece of paper. lots of people get married, have children, get divorced, and start remarrying and having new children, and the old ones are just forgotten, left to fend for themselves. I'm 21 and a majority of my friends come from backgrounds like this. marriage is a legal agreement that is temporary 53% of the time. it does not guarantee a stable upbringing. I think couples who choose to be together every day, rather than being bound to one another by a legal contract, are perfectly capable of raising children in a happy, secure environment.

      April 13, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • johnP

        There was a time when one gave their word it ment something, that don't exist much today. I know a lot of you would not agree, when I say the best model for marriage is the biblical one. It truly is not about women being some kind of slave, but being submisive which means allowing the husband to lead. Where ever there is noone in the lead, you have undirected wandering. (Now the Husband needs to be on who is able to take the lead!) I was married 15 years to a woman and now am remarried after another 15 yrs of being divorced. My wife now shares in my Christain faith and is submissive to me – and I would die for her! I look back and see that the major difference from my first wife was FIRST our shared faith but out of that WE DO NOT COMPETE with each other. I want her to be well kept and she wants me to be well kept. Before any significant decission needs to be made, she looks to me and I look to God who becomes our tie breaker and things just simply work out. Learn to not compete with each other, and look out for your mate above all. It works!

        April 14, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • Beth


        Very few of us women want to be submissive to our husbands. I make more money and have more education than mine but we are 50/50 partners in everything. He supports my career as much as I support his. There is no need for submission for anyone. Some of you men seem to think that just because you were born with a Y chromosome you must be smarter and more capable of leading. Well, I wasn't reared to believe that. I'm as capable as any man around. If something breaks in our house, I'm the one to fix it. If it needs to be organized, that's my husband's job. We don't believe in gender based roles. There's more freedom in simply being responsible for the things for which you are more talented or more inclined. The rules for a desert people of 2,000 years ago simply aren't practical for us today in all aspects of life. You have to look at the Bible more critically with the times in mind. And at any rate, Paul didn't even believe that people should get married. Life wouldn't have exactly gone on if people followed his lead now, would it?

        April 14, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • blackluke8

        Only a feminist would believe that cohabitating is a reasonable way to live and raise children. The current state of our society is exclusively the fault of women with a narcissistic belief system that values their convenience over all else, and a corrupt state that has turned the dissolution of marriage into a profit center and therefore an undesirable arrangement for anyone, despite the value that common sense gives it.

        April 15, 2012 at 3:12 am | Report abuse |
      • blackluke8

        The certificate, which is an artifact of the state used to arbitrate property rights and provide it a lever for taxation and ultimately financial coercion, is meaningless, I agree. But the spiritual and social ritual that marriage is intended to be in very valuable, as it promotes a sense of commitment, not just between the couple, but within the community and the metaphysical (God) as well. Simply cohabitating because it is easy is the social outcome of the selfish feminist movement and the cancerous growth of fiscal, tax, and economic influence outstripping non-material value systems. And the stats bear it out. The kids suffer.

        April 15, 2012 at 3:24 am | Report abuse |
      • blackluke8


        So how do you resolve issues when the two of you disagree, if your relationship is in fact "50-50". Someone has to make the decision, and the other person has to accept it an support it. if you have managed to find a man who is willing to be led by you, then I suppose there is little that one can do to argue the point. Perhaps that works for you. But most men will never accept this as the organizing principle of their family life. "Submissive" is not to mean dominated. To the contrary, traditional roles are intended to give complementary, but equal, roles to both the men and women. But equality does not mean that collective decision-making can always occur, and so the "submissive" term simply means that when their is a family decision that is external to the inner workings of the household itself, the woman would accept the man's decision. If you do it differently, then so be it. But understand that you are dealing with a weak male.

        April 15, 2012 at 3:32 am | Report abuse |
      • Oleg

        Johnp – you DIVORCE and then brag about your Christian face? Priceless!

        April 15, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. AkiraTanaka

    Who cares? The rise is mostly among white Americans; Hispanics and blacks already gave up wedlock long ago. I'm glad that we in the Asian-American community continue to maintain proper family form.

    OBAMA 2012

    April 13, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doesn'tMatter

      You must be right because noone ever sees asian-american single mothers or anything....you hypocrit. In the words of Abraham Lincoln "Better to be thought a fool than to open ones mouth and remove all doubt."

      April 13, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anne

      Talk about a prejudicial comment! You have to be kidding right?

      April 15, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • g

      asian community? all i ever see is asian women with white men is that what you are referring to?

      April 16, 2012 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  7. Rick

    Maybe common law marriages should be OK. At least cohabitation would take on a more serious meaning and nobody could just walk.

    April 13, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • DefenderGuy

      I think that defeats the purpose. A lot of the people I know who are cohabitating are doing it because they don't want all the strings of marriage and the obligations that come about if the relationship ends. The other side is that a lot of young professionals are doing it because they literally cannot afford to marry. There are tax consequences to it as well as issues such student loans, where the payments increase substantially based upon your spouse's income. In all likelihood, the major reason for the increase is that it avoids the very worst of getting a divorce. There isn't a long and dragged out process through the courts. No risk of unreasonable alimony, loss of assets, being saddled with the other spouses debt, or the nightmare of having to financially support an ex husband or wife whose infidelity was the cause of the divorce. (Surprisingly more common than you think) I would say leave the situation alone.

      April 13, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • Rick

        I guess maybe I was trying to defeat the purpose. I have a hard time coming up with any reason when commitment is so relative. It's just that common law forces the issue so somewhere in time that relative commitment becomes absolute, whether they want it to or not. It's time to fish or cut bait.

        April 16, 2012 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |