Out-of-wedlock births have been rising in the United States for 50 years, but now they've crossed a big threshold—more than half of all the babies born to women under 30 are born outside of marriage, reports the New York Times. While 59% of babies overall are born to married women in America, unmarried births have soared among younger women, especially among white women who have some college education but no degree.
Only college graduates still mostly have their babies after getting married. “Marriage has become a luxury good,” said one sociologist. Overall, 73% of black children are born outside of marriage, 53% of Latinos, and 29% of whites. “Most of my friends say it’s just a piece of paper," says a 27-year-old single mother of two in Ohio, "and it doesn’t work out anyway.”