Flagstaff, Arizona, had the highest share of new mothers that were unmarried and Cheyenne, Wyoming, had the lowest.

We've heard these stats before: lower education levels, income, and age are all correlated to higher rates of single mothers. A U.S. Census report released today suggests geography may play a role as well.

The report [PDF] analyzes 2011 American Community Survey data, and charts the percentage of women (between the ages of 15 and 50) who had babies between January 2010 and December 2011 who were also unmarried. The metropolitan areas in the map below are color-coded based on their deviation from the norm (35.7 percent of new mothers nationally). Purple metros have "significantly higher" rates of unwed new mothers than the national average and green have "significantly lower."

Flagstaff, Arizona had the highest share of new mothers that were unmarried (74.6 percent) and Cheyenne, Wyoming had the lowest (4.7 percent). (Complete results are available here.) There are of course a few caveats that the Census points out. First of all, having a baby during that particular timeframe is a "relatively rare event" and the data "can be quite variable," so the margins of error on these rate estimates are fairly high and the differences between some metros, say Flagstaff and Greenville, North Carolina at 69.4 percent, is not statistically different. Also, the survey asked if women were unmarried at the time of the survey, not at the time of the birth, and also tracked where the mother was living then as well, not where she had her child.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A photo-illustration of several big-box retail stores.
    Equity

    After the Retail Apocalypse, Prepare for the Property Tax Meltdown

    Big-box retailers nationwide are slashing their property taxes through a legal loophole known as "dark store theory." For the towns that rely on that revenue, this could be a disaster.

  2. Equity

    Housing Can’t Be Both Affordable and a Good Investment

    The two pillars of American housing policy are fundamentally at odds.

  3. A man wears a mask with the likeness of French president Emmanuel Macron as people take part in the nationwide "Yellow Vest" demonstrations, a symbol of a French drivers' protest against higher fuel prices, in Haulchin, France.
    Equity

    Why Drivers Are Leading a Protest Movement Across France

    The rapidly developing “Yellow Vest” movement took over streets and highways to oppose rising gas and diesel taxes. It might also be a proxy for frustrations about rising costs and falling living standards.

  4. A photo of a mural in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
    Life

    Stop Complaining About Your Rent and Move to Tulsa, Suggests Tulsa

    In an effort to beef up the city’s tech workforce, the George Kaiser Family Foundation is offering $10,000, free rent, and other perks to remote workers who move to Tulsa for a year.

  5. A photo of protesters carrying anti-Amazon posters during a rally and press conference in NYC.
    Amazon HQ2

    Amazon’s HQ2 Decision Was Always About Transit

    In the end, New York’s MTA and D.C.’s Metro were the only transportation networks capable of handling such an influx of new residents. But both cities will have some work to do.