Change Indicator

Births to unmarried women in United States

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Definition and Source



Births occurring to women who were unmarried at the time of the birth.

Marital status was obtained from a direct question on the birth certificate in 48 states and the District of Columbia. In Michigan and New York, marital status was inferred from other information on the birth certificate. In 2003, marital status was also imputed for some birth records in the 48 states and the District of Columbia where it was not reported from the direct question. Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands are not included in the U.S. average.

Beginning in 2018, due to state statutory restrictions, California no longer provides record-level data on the marital status of the mother for births occurring in California to California residents and non-residents (including residents of other states). Due to this change, data for selected cities are not available.

Data Source

Analysis of 1990-2022 Natality MicroData files from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics.


Data are provided for the 50 most populous cities according to the most recent Census counts.  Cities for which data is collected may change over time.

Last Updated

April 2023