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U.S. unwed births hit record 1.5 million



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WASHINGTON, Nov 1, 2005 (UPI via COMTEX) -- A record 1.5 million babies were born in the United States last year to unwed mothers -- the vast majority to women in their 20s.

While teens accounted for half of unwed births in 1970, they were responsible for just 24 percent of children born outside of marriage in 2004, the National Center for Health Statistics said.

Women aged 20-24 had 55 percent of unwed births in 2004, a 7 percent increase from 2002. Women aged 25-29 had nearly 28 percent of births outside marriage, a 14 percent jump in two years.

Unwed celebrities have popularized the single-mom baby boom and nearly two-thirds of teen girls say it is OK to have a baby outside wedlock.

However, experts say unwed mothers are more likely to be economically disadvantaged.

"It means more children are going to grow up without mothers and fathers," David Popenoe, co-director of the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University, told USA Today.

URL: www.upi.com 

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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