"Forget June Cleaver. Meet Junia Chuchillo, the new quintessential American mom. Researchers at the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press in Washington, D.C., looked at the changing demographics of American mothers by comparing women who gave birth in 1990 to those who gave birth in 2008.
They found some definite trends in a report released last week.
While June probably married Ward right out of high school, Junia put off marriage until she completed her bachelor's degree and started her career, waiting to say I do until she was in her mid- to late 20s. The marriage didn't last. Still wanting children, Junia had them on her own.
Oh, and by the way, while June was whiter than Wonder Bread, Junia is either Latina or boasts a variety of different ethnic heritages.
'The demography of motherhood in the United States has shifted strikingly in the past two decades,' Gretchen Livingston and D'Vera Cohn write in the the Pew Center report. 'Compared with mothers of newborns in 1990, today's mothers of newborns are older and better educated. They are less likely to be white and less likely to be married.'
All this is because Pew researchers found:
Women are having babies later rather than sooner. In 1990, more teens (13 percent) had babies than women 35 and older (9 percent). Now the reverse is true. In 2008, 10 percent of births were to teens and 14 percent were to women 35 and older.
Mothers are better educated. Most mothers (54 percent) had at least some college education in 2008 -- an increase of 41 percent over 1990. Among mothers 35 and under in 2008, 71 percent went to college.
Women are waiting to get married or not getting married at all. Possibly because of their education and careers, researchers found, women are delaying marriage until their mid- to late 20s or early 30s. 'The more education a woman has, the later she tends to marry and have children,' Livingston and Cohn write. However, a record 4-in-10 births (41 percent) in 2008, were to unmarried women. In 1990, 28 percent of births were to unmarried women.
Mothers are increasingly non-white. While white women made up 53 percent of new mothers in 2008, that's down from 65 percent in 1990. A fourth of the babies born in 2008 were to Latina mothers."
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