An interesting study, released today by the Pew Research Center, has found some striking changes in the demography of motherhood in the United States over the past twenty years.

Compared to mothers of newborns in 1990, mothers today are older and more educated.  Today there appears to be a lower rate of teen pregnancy than in 1990, and an increase in mothers over the age of 35 – and that’s across all race and ethnic groups.

One of the most striking findings was that today 41 percent of mothers are unmarried. When this number is broken down, non-marital births are highest among Black women (72%), then Hispanics (53%), Whites (29%) and Asians (17%). Interestingly, however, the increase has been greatest among whites, whose out-of-wedlock births grew by 69%.

Pew suggests, “all the trends…reflect a complex mix of demographic and behavioral factors.  For example, the higher share of college-educated mothers stems both from their rising birth rates and from women’s increasing educational attainment. The rise in births to unmarried women reflects both their rising birth rates and the shrinking share of adults who are married.”