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 rendering of the Detroit Food Co-op
    Equity

    A Black-Owned Food Co-op Grows in Detroit

    Detroit Black Community Food Security Network’s co-op will control food production and dissemination to bring good food and wages to an underserved community.

  2. Life

    The ‘Marie Kondo Effect’ Comes at a Weird Time for Thrift Stores

    Netflix’s hit show has everyone tidying up, but that's not the only reason second-hand stores are being flooded with donations.

  3. A photo of a DART light rail train in Dallas, Texas.
    Transportation

    What Cities Are Getting Wrong About Public Transportation

    Cities could get more people walking, biking, and riding transit, according to a new report, if they just know where to look for improvement.

  4. A construction worker inside the 86th Street cavern of the Second Avenue Subway tunnel in 2014
    Transportation

    Why It's So Expensive to Build Urban Rail in the U.S.

    It’s not just the Second Avenue Subway: Nearly all urban rail projects in the U.S. cost much more than their European counterparts.

  5. Transportation

    Tokyo’s New Strategy for Easing Subway Overcrowding: Free Soba, Tempura

    To ease the morning rush traffic, the city’s Metro will reward riders with buckwheat noodles and tempura for traveling outside peak hours.