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Premarital Fertility

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Report Number P23-63


The main purpose of this report is to present selected highlights and findings from the 1970 census on the fertility of single women and of women who married while pregnant. Topics covered include the proportion of women who had children while single, the extent to which these women subsequently married, and their age at marriage. Also featured are data on women who had a first child at an interval soon enough after marriage to imply a premarital conception and data for the great majority of women who had their first child at an interval long enough after marriage that did not imply a premarital conception. The findings include comparisons by characteristics such as race, educational attainment, the current (1970) life style as indicated by the occupation of the woman and her husband (if any), family income in 1969, and poverty status. Some information is also presented on the proportion of unmarried mothers who eventually married and on the stability of the marriages of women who married after a premarital conception. An appendix discusses how fertility histories were derived from census questionnaire items and indicates the extent of nonreporting and other limitations of the data.

The source notes shown with the tables in this report indicate where the data originated, but in most cases some manipulation of information was involved to obtain differences between figures, derivations of percentages, etc. Hence, the reader should not expect to find exactly the same detail in the source tables.

A Note on Language

Census statistics date back to 1790 and reflect the growth and change of the United States. Past census reports contain some terms that today’s readers may consider obsolete and inappropriate. As part of our goal to be open and transparent with the public, we are improving access to all Census Bureau original publications and statistics, which serve as a guide to the nation's history.

Page Last Revised - October 8, 2021
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