HHS: Record birth rate among shacked-up couples; unmarried Hispanic birth rates outpace whites 2-1

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,HHS,Hispanics

Nearly three in five out-of-wedlock births are to women in cohabiting relationships, a recent jump that suggests financial and social stability among men and women living together, according to a Department of Health and Human Services report.

In a new report on the national birthrate, HHS also said that there were 1.6 million births to unmarried women last year, with Hispanics outpacing every other group.

In 2012, there were 73 births for every 1,000 unmarried Hispanic women, compared to 32 per 1,000 white women. Both of those were less than in 2007, said the report.

The report focused on unmarried women in cohabiting relationships where it found the biggest growth in births over the past decade. It revealed a major change from 2002, when a majority of out-of-wedlock births were to women not living with men, and 2010 when a majority were cohabitating.

For example, in 2002, 60 percent of the births were to unmarried women not cohabiting. By 2010, it was flipped, with 58 percent of the births to women cohabiting with men.

HHS defines cohabitation as “persons who are unmarried but having a sexual relationship while sharing the same usual address.”

The report also found that half of their out-of-wedlock babies were intended.

“While cohabiting unions tend to be less stable than marriages nonetheless, one-half of births to cohabiting women were intended in 2006–2010,” concluded the report.

“This may suggest a higher level of social and financial support within a cohabiting union for the mother and her child. A recent report showed that several measures of father involvement were very similar among married and cohabiting fathers,” it added.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at