NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

THE "M" WORD

December 11, 2006

Three years after President Bush's healthy-marriage initiative, the Centers for Disease Control reports births to unmarried women are at a record high.  The consequences do not bode well for America's future, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).

The National Center for Health Statistics, the statistical arm of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has released a report, "Births: Preliminary Data for 2005," that shows the nuclear family is in meltdown:

  • Out-of-wedlock births reached 1.5 million last year, or 36.8 percent of the total.
  • Among non-Hispanic blacks, the illegitimacy rate reached a staggering 69.5 percent.
  • Among non-Hispanic whites, the rate is up to 25.4 percent.
  • The illegitimacy rate for Hispanics increased by 1.5 percent in just one year, and now stands at 47.9 percent.
  • Of these nonmarital births, 52 percent were to women without a high school diploma vs. just 9 percent to women with a graduate or professional degree.

Princeton professor Sara McLanahan reports, "You're beginning to see these households composed of a mother and three children and three different ex-partners" -- situations "where children are being raised in very unstable families."

Countless studies have shown that children raised in a two-parent family are less likely to be raised in poverty, less likely to do drugs, less likely to be criminals later in life, and more likely to graduate from and do well in school, says IBD.

Married people tend to take care of themselves better and live longer.  They typically eat better, have more settled lives with less stress and fewer risky habits, monitor each other's health, and are quicker to seek medical attention for problems that arise, explains IBD.

Source: Editorial, "The 'M' Word," Investor's Business Daily, December 8, 2006.

 

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