Bad News About Illegitimacy

The Weekly Standard, August 5, 1996.


I’m no newspaperman, but the following sure looks like a front-page, above-the-fold story to me:

ILLEGITIMACY RECORDS BIGGEST JUMP EVER WASHINGTON, June 24 — Figures released today by the National Center for Health Statistics reveal that in 1994 the percentage of children born out of wedlock logged its largest one-year increase since national figures have been kept. The new figure, 32.6 percent, was up from 31.0 percent in 1993. The 1994 jump follows on the heels of the previous record increases set in 1988-89 and 1990-91.

The record increase was fueled by surges in illegitimacy among major ethnic groups. The percentage of black births out of wedlock passed 70 percent, marking the largest increase since 1973. Whites set an all-time high for a one-year increase, jumping from 23.6 percent to 25.4 percent. Hispanics, most of whom are racially classified as whites, contributed to the white increase with a 3-percentage-point increase, but even among non-Hispanic whites, the size of the increase was a record 1.3 percentage points.

Weekly Standard