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Reasons for the Surge in Births to Single Women
Psychology Today ^ | August 20, 2013 | Nigel Barber, Ph.D

Posted on 08/20/2013 8:33:34 PM PDT by NotYourAverageDhimmi

Throughout Europe, births to single mothers more than doubled between 1990 and 2010 (from 17.4 to 38.3 percent, 1). Imagine if it were to increase at the same rate for the next two decades! Such rapid changes are very unusual historically. They cry out for explanation from social scientists.

This steep rise in single parenthood is found in most developed countries, including the U.S. Here, single parenthood increased from around 5.3 percent in 1960 to 41 percent in 2009 (2).

The surge in single parenthood in Europe

Change was even more rapid in some European countries. Births outside marriage increased by a factor of 21 in Ireland between 1960 and 2011 (from 1.6 to 33.7 percent, 1) and a factor of 23 in Belgium (from 2.1 to 49.2 percent). These are not the most rapid growth rates either. Single parenthood increased by a factor of 32 in the Netherlands (1.4 to 45.3 percent) and Malta (0.7 to 22.7 percent).

Nor is the growth in births to single women likely to stabilize at these levels. In some countries the proportion of non marital births exceeds marital ones. These include Bulgaria (56.1), Estonia (59.7), Slovenia (56.8), Sweden (54.3) and Norway (55).

Plausible reasons for the surge in non marital childbearing

Perhaps the simplest reason is the decline in marriage. The average age at marriage for women increased worldwide from 23 to 29 between 1970 and 2005 (3), reflecting greater entry by women into higher education, paid employment, and careers.

Women are marrying later and their marriages are much more likely to end in divorce. Of course, more women are forgoing marriage altogether. So women spend far less of their reproductive lives in the married state and are thus have a lower statistical probability of producing children in marriage. According to my unpublished analysis of 35 countries in the Eurostat database, low marriage rates account for 45 percent of the differences in out-of-wedlock births. There are also economic explanations for single parenthood.

Economic reasons

Poor women in the U.S. constitute most of the single mothers whereas there has been a negligible increase in non marital births to middle-class women (4). This phenomenon is fairly easily explained in terms of declining wages for unskilled workers. Poor men no longer earn enough to be economically qualified for marriage and single women raise children with the help of their relatives instead.

Circumstances are quite different in Europe, however, and the surge in non marital births is not due to increased poverty there. Indeed, thanks to a well-developed welfare state, there is little poverty in countries like Sweden that have high single parenthood ratios.

Despite low poverty rates, welfare states increase single parenthood by reducing marriage rates (5). Mothers are so well protected by the welfare state that being married provides little further economic advantage. They are better able to raise children independently if they so wish.

Female breadwinners

The period of rapidly rising single parenthood in developed countries was accompanied by a steady rise in female labor participation and enrollment in higher education. Moreover, my analysis of Eurostat data found that female labor participation rates accounted for 48 percent of the country differences in proportion of births outside wedlock (an effect that was independent of the marriage rate).

Why might single motherhood increase with the number of women participating in the labor force given that this reduces poverty? One obvious connection is that obtaining an education and getting established in an occupation takes time and postpones marriage. Another is that women who earn as much as men do not have to depend on a husband to raise a child although most might prefer not to bear the burden alone.

Either way, it seems clear that single parenthood is no longer associated with poverty in Europe (as it is in the U.S.) given that more than half of births are to single mothers in some countries.

Given the changes in Europe over the past half-century, marital births could virtually disappear in some countries in another 50 years.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: family; motherhood; singles; trends

1 posted on 08/20/2013 8:33:34 PM PDT by NotYourAverageDhimmi
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To: NotYourAverageDhimmi
Catch 22.

In light of the declining population replacement rate that's been going on in Europe and The U.S. over the last few decades, it's encouraging that women are wanting to have babies.

Of course, the bad thing is these children are being brought up without fathers.

2 posted on 08/20/2013 8:36:42 PM PDT by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all -- Texas Eagle)
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To: NotYourAverageDhimmi

Not a fluke...


3 posted on 08/20/2013 8:37:23 PM PDT by bigbob
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To: NotYourAverageDhimmi

Just maybe you can get more money from the government spitting out kids?...me thinks.


4 posted on 08/20/2013 8:37:29 PM PDT by Route395
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To: NotYourAverageDhimmi
Plausible reasons for the surge in non marital childbearing

Here are the absolute reasons: War against men. War against marriage. Marriage to the government.

5 posted on 08/20/2013 8:42:50 PM PDT by DakotaGator (Weep for the lost Republic! And keep your powder dry!!)
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To: NotYourAverageDhimmi
Women are marrying later and their marriages are much more likely to end in divorce.

This segment brought to you by no-fault-divorce laws, those laws which allow you to leave your spouse for any reason, no matter how frivolous. Thanks, no-fault-divorce laws! #redeye

6 posted on 08/20/2013 8:43:44 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Major brain damage at UMES, but no property damage!)
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To: NotYourAverageDhimmi

As you slowly take G_d (and the eternal consequences) out of the equation, giving birth out of wedlock easily becomes the norm. Heathenism seems to be the way of the day.


7 posted on 08/20/2013 8:44:15 PM PDT by doc1019
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To: Texas Eagle

All that the father absence will do is produce less masculine men out of these boys (the stereotypical “nice guys”) who themselves will then have unsatisfactory relationships with women, if they’re even that lucky.

Just my opinion.


8 posted on 08/20/2013 8:51:16 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Major brain damage at UMES, but no property damage!)
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To: NotYourAverageDhimmi

Reason: Promiscuity. End of story.


9 posted on 08/20/2013 8:53:18 PM PDT by spel_grammer_an_punct_polise (Learn three chords and you, too, can be a Rock Star!)
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To: NotYourAverageDhimmi

I know in my family (yes I know that does not translate to the general population), they view a government license an intrusion on their personal liberty, yet they have a spiritual ceremonies commit their lives together and start a life.
Technically the woman is single, they are not.
(Don’t’ give me grief, its what they beleive/think)


10 posted on 08/20/2013 8:53:49 PM PDT by svcw (Stand or die)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
And a fine opinion it is. Most will either turn out to be girlie men or simply turn violent.

Obviously not all of them.

11 posted on 08/20/2013 8:54:11 PM PDT by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all -- Texas Eagle)
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To: NotYourAverageDhimmi
This will continue to happen as long as governments pay for child support. Once the funding is cut off, there will be a huge decrease in the number of single mothers.
12 posted on 08/20/2013 8:57:24 PM PDT by Cowboy Bob (Democrats: Robbing Peter to buy Paul's vote.)
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To: Texas Eagle

Hmmmmm - - - - . You may have something there!

More than one girly young men have shown hatred for their Mothers, such as the Grade School shooter this year.


13 posted on 08/20/2013 9:00:18 PM PDT by Graewoulf (Traitor John Roberts' Commune-Style Obama'care' violates U.S. Constitution AND Anti-Trust Law.)
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To: Texas Eagle

Yes, there will be the violent ones also, having not been subject to a father’s firm hand.


14 posted on 08/20/2013 9:04:42 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Major brain damage at UMES, but no property damage!)
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To: NotYourAverageDhimmi
Pssst - Mr. Reporter...

Whatever you do, don't also look at the rise in crime rates, incarcerations, drug abuse, and poverty during that same time frame.

Could lead to some embarrassing revelations about the good old ‘proper’ style of family life.

15 posted on 08/20/2013 9:06:47 PM PDT by I cannot think of a name
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To: NotYourAverageDhimmi

“single women raise children with the help of their relatives instead.”

Really. Those whom I know, rely somewhat on their relatives and about 50% more on the goodies available through the state. IMO, those who are not self sufficient, use their kids as a lever to pry help from their relatives.

Meanwhile, this publication looks to me to be some kind of liberal rag...probably of the “it takes a village” mind set.


16 posted on 08/20/2013 9:18:00 PM PDT by Mouton (The insurrection laws perpetuate what we have for a government now.)
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To: Texas Eagle
many,many of the new young nurses just graduating from college and working their first job are buying houses with their boyfriends...having babies with their boyfriends....

talk about getting the milk without buying the cow....

I'd like to shake these gals and tell them they should demand more respect for themselves than to be educated, working and buying houses with their new found wages, or having a baby before getting the guy to committ....silly, and financially stupid...

my cranky old FIL told me something....that after WW2 when the Gi's were home, he said if a guy met a girl he liked he would ask her to get married right away, because if he waited even a while and played finicky, she would be married off to someone else...such was the demand for marriage ready young women....

and now, a guy can get the sleepins and the house and the baby for nothing at all....sweet deal...

17 posted on 08/20/2013 9:21:12 PM PDT by cherry
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To: NotYourAverageDhimmi

“Given the changes in Europe over the past half-century, marital births could virtually disappear in some countries in another 50 years.”

Given the unfolding demographic changes in Europe, I would not bet on it. In 50 years muslims will control countries like Sweden.


18 posted on 08/20/2013 9:22:08 PM PDT by aquila48
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To: NotYourAverageDhimmi

Number 4 - Fear of Divorce.


19 posted on 08/20/2013 9:26:27 PM PDT by Darren McCarty (Abortion - legalized murder for convenience)
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To: NotYourAverageDhimmi

The writer completely misses the obvious. The simple rules of economics states that when you subsidize something (single mothers) you get more of them. When you tax something (successful families) you get less of them.


20 posted on 08/20/2013 9:26:43 PM PDT by gusty
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To: NotYourAverageDhimmi

But those single women are having fewer children, so they can’t replace the population on their own.


21 posted on 08/20/2013 9:27:38 PM PDT by Crucial (Tolerance at the expense of equal treatment is the path to tyranny.)
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To: doc1019

Meanwhile, Muslims surge in numbers by having large, intact families.


22 posted on 08/20/2013 9:35:31 PM PDT by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: James C. Bennett

Great point.


23 posted on 08/20/2013 9:36:41 PM PDT by doc1019
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To: cherry

You’re actually more likely to get rejected and dumped if you want marriage.


24 posted on 08/20/2013 9:41:12 PM PDT by JCBreckenridge
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Nice guys. OK

Used to be nice guys would never include those who would have marital relations or of wedlock.

That’s the source of the problem - reliance on birth control. Not to be confused with its fruit-abortion

The women, instead of taking charge of the situation,give into it like slaves and lead everyone to Hell with them, including the culture

We Catholics are indeed familiar with the stories, in this case wimpy Adam and that silly, lusty, destructive Eve, of the Bible - even the OT


25 posted on 08/20/2013 9:46:11 PM PDT by stanne
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To: spel_grammer_an_punct_polise

Correct. But what’s the beginning of the story of promiscuity having taken over for the past half century?


26 posted on 08/20/2013 9:47:48 PM PDT by stanne
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To: NotYourAverageDhimmi

My money is on the decline of civilization. No morals.


27 posted on 08/20/2013 10:03:15 PM PDT by bgill (This reply was mined before it was posted.)
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To: NotYourAverageDhimmi

a surge in single mothers is a surge in the number of people that will end up in poverty in the next generation

a surge in single mothers is a surge in the number of govt dependent voters

a surge in single mothers is a surge in the demand for cradle to grave govt

a surge in single mothers is a surge in socialism


28 posted on 08/20/2013 10:15:38 PM PDT by sten (fighting tyranny never goes out of style)
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To: spel_grammer_an_punct_polise

Bingo! There is no longer any stigma to sex outside marraige or to illegitmate births. In fact, it is all celebrated.


29 posted on 08/20/2013 10:46:30 PM PDT by Pining_4_TX (All those who were appointed to eternal life believed. Acts 13:48)
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To: Texas Eagle
Catch 22.
In light of the declining population replacement rate that's been going on in Europe and The U.S. over the last few decades, it's encouraging that women are wanting to have babies.
Of course, the bad thing is these children are being brought up without fathers.

It's more than a "bad thing," it's a CATASTROPHE.

30 posted on 08/21/2013 12:07:17 AM PDT by cloudmountain
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To: cherry
he said if a guy met a girl he liked he would ask her to get married right away

Maybe it's a bit of a generation gap here (Grandpa was WWII, I was born in the 70's and I'm in my mid-30s). I couldn't do that. Without going into things that ended up with me needing to go to confession. I came this close to proposing about 3 years ago, but deep down I knew it wouldn't work out for a few reasons I'm not going to get into here.

The lady I'm dating now, we'll see. I'm thinking positive here, if she can get past the age difference (I'm younger) :)

Is it such a sweet deal. Short term, yeah, in my early-mid 20's. Frankly, it was there in my dad's day and probably grandpa's day too, although neither would admit to it. Long term? No. Too many people like how I used to be.

31 posted on 08/21/2013 12:13:39 AM PDT by Darren McCarty (Abortion - legalized murder for convenience)
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To: DakotaGator
War against men.

So why are men "arming" their "enemies"?

32 posted on 08/21/2013 3:01:25 AM PDT by TwelveOfTwenty
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To: NotYourAverageDhimmi

Here in No. Calif I know several young women who are in what seem to be committed “partner” relationships (yes, with men), who have young children and have been together several years. Both parents have jobs and they live lower middle class lifestyles. Yet there is NO RING. Why?? I don’t know them well enough to grill them on this but I just don’t understand. I think that not getting married has been glamorized to the point where getting married seems like an old fuddy duddy thing. Sigh.


33 posted on 08/21/2013 3:10:42 AM PDT by Hetty_Fauxvert (FUBO, and the useful idiots you rode in on!)
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To: NotYourAverageDhimmi

No listing of anti-male family law as a reason for declining marriage rates? Imagine that!


34 posted on 08/21/2013 3:47:40 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: FreedomPoster

That’s because divorced fathers are one of the political underclass groups. To point out those policies and how they are implemented might diminish the well crafted imaged of divorced dads being akin to nazis who hate puppies and kittens. And these dumbasses still scratch their heads and wonder aloud why men aren’t going out of their way to start families.


35 posted on 08/21/2013 4:15:20 AM PDT by Orangedog (An optimist is someone who tells you to 'cheer up' when things are going his way)
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To: NotYourAverageDhimmi
Heathenism.

Immorality.

Destruction of the family ; I would say a deliberate agenda.

Deliberate attempt to make government father, mother, aunt, and uncle.

36 posted on 08/21/2013 4:20:13 AM PDT by John Leland 1789
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To: Hetty_Fauxvert

You’re ignoring the pragmatic. You’re asking why they aren’t married when you may want to ask why should they get married instead. Why should people who are just getting by worry about getting into a legal arrangement that more or less just pre authorizes a guy in a long black dress to redistribute their assets after a bad enough argument?


37 posted on 08/21/2013 4:23:41 AM PDT by Orangedog (An optimist is someone who tells you to 'cheer up' when things are going his way)
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To: cherry

The comparision with the 1940s is inaccurate.

In the 1940s marriage and the church were respected by government. In many cases a divorce required approval by the church. And child support was only ordered by the state as terms of a divorce and alimony. This arraingement favored marriage for both men and women.

Today child support and state benefits are granted without a requirement for marriage. In addition not marrying provides both the man and woman more finacial advantage than marrying in the case of separation. So there are substantial financial incentive for both men and women for not marrying, particularly for men and wage earning women. For many women it’s a choice of single parenting or no parenting so more women have children out of wedlock.

Even in a bad economy bills have to be paid and kids taken care of.

Take the government out of marriage, child rearing and church and the situation will right itself.


38 posted on 08/21/2013 4:49:36 AM PDT by Justa
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To: Texas Eagle
Well, duh! Chastity belts went out with the thong. Welfare state takes place of dad. Not many social issues, if any.

Why not just do what you feel like doing?

vaudine

39 posted on 08/21/2013 5:27:31 AM PDT by vaudine
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To: stanne

“But what’s the beginning of the story of promiscuity having taken over for the past half century?”

That is not an easy answer but it starts with fdr and his welfare programs or if you want to look at more recent events then it is lbj’s welfare programs that made the gov’t an ‘easy mark’ for welfare moms to get checks.....the more illegitimate children they have, the larger the checks.


40 posted on 08/21/2013 9:08:01 AM PDT by spel_grammer_an_punct_polise (Learn three chords and you, too, can be a Rock Star!)
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To: svcw

I don’t have a problem with that. What do I care if the government views me as married or not?


41 posted on 08/21/2013 9:11:17 AM PDT by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: NotYourAverageDhimmi
Poor men no longer earn enough to be economically qualified for marriage and single women raise children with the help of their relatives instead.

...and by relatives we mean the taxpaying public.

42 posted on 08/21/2013 9:11:56 AM PDT by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: spel_grammer_an_punct_polise

Speaking promiscuity, sticking with the subject

Look at high schools within the middle class. It’s where it starts. They are NOT thinking welfare. They are thinking ‘how to get a boyfriend’ boys are thinking - well, most are not thinking welfare nor marriage nor even, how to get a girlfriend.


43 posted on 08/21/2013 9:44:11 AM PDT by stanne
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To: spel_grammer_an_punct_polise

Speaking promiscuity, sticking with the subject

Look at high schools within the middle class. It’s where it starts. They are NOT thinking welfare. They are thinking ‘how to get a boyfriend’ boys are thinking - well, most are not thinking welfare nor marriage nor even, how to get a girlfriend.


44 posted on 08/21/2013 9:44:11 AM PDT by stanne
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To: Orangedog

Here in CA, if you stay in the committed relationship (as in, renting or buying a house together, having children, several years together) for several years, the court WILL have a say in redistributing your assets anyway if the two of you break up. So not getting married is not an advantage unless you take steps to make sure it doesn’t appear to be a committed relationship.


45 posted on 08/21/2013 10:08:17 AM PDT by Hetty_Fauxvert (FUBO, and the useful idiots you rode in on!)
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To: Hetty_Fauxvert

Not getting married might not be an advantage but when all it takes to end up in divorced is a $1500 retainer and an argument, I can see why people without all that much money to burn just don’t bother with getting married.


46 posted on 08/21/2013 10:13:03 AM PDT by Orangedog (An optimist is someone who tells you to 'cheer up' when things are going his way)
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