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Health Indicator Report of Maternal Marital Status

Many birth outcomes vary considerably by marital status and are addressed in their respective indicator profiles.

Data Sources

  • Birth Certificate Database, Office of Vital Statistics and Registry, New Jersey Department of Health
  • National Vital Statistics Reports, NCHS, CDC

Definition

Marital status was determined by response to the following questions on the birth certificate: For years 1970-1978 - Legitimate? For years 1979-1988 - Is mother married? For years after 1988 - Mother married? (At birth, conception, or any time between)

Numerator

Number of live births to unmarried mothers

Denominator

Total number of live births

How Are We Doing?

The percentage of births to unmarried mothers (nonmarital birth rate) had been steadily increasing for several decades but peaked around 2010 and has been slowly declining since then. The largest differences between 1990 and 2015 were among White (61% increase) and Hispanic mothers (47%), while differences among Black (+4%) and Asian (-7%) mothers were more modest. The nonmarital birth rate more than doubled among those aged 25-44. Although the largest increase was seen among foreign-born mothers, infants born to mothers native to U.S. territories (predominantly Puerto Rico) still have the highest nonmarital birth rate. Nonmarital birth rates range from 15% in Morris to 61% in Cumberland County.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

Since 1985, the nonmarital birth rate among New Jersey residents has been below that of the nation as a whole. Currently, the rate is 18% lower in New Jersey than in the U.S. as a whole.
Page Content Updated On 11/06/2017, Published on 11/06/2017
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's NJSHAD web site (https://nj.gov/health/shad). The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sat, 16 December 2017 0:10:36 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: https://nj.gov/health/shad ".

Content updated: Wed, 15 Nov 2017 07:52:42 EST