Skip to comments.Reasons for the Surge in Births to Single Women
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 According to my unpublished analysis of 35 countries in the Eurostat database, low marriage rates account for 45 percent of the differences in out-of-wedlock births.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.
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.
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.
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.
Not a fluke...
Just maybe you can get more money from the government spitting out kids?...me thinks.
Here are the absolute reasons: War against men. War against marriage. Marriage to the government.
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
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.
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.
Reason: Promiscuity. End of story.
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)
Obviously not all of them.
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.
Yes, there will be the violent ones also, having not been subject to a father’s firm hand.
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.
“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.
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...
“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.
Number 4 - Fear of Divorce.
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.