Chris Christoff, Detroit Free Press, July 6, 2011
The percentage of babies born in Michigan to unmarried mothers rose significantly during the last decade, but fewer teens are giving birth, a new study shows.
About half of all births from 2000-09 were to mothers eligible for Medicaid, the government health insurance program for low-income people, according to the Kids Count Michigan report by the Michigan League for Human Services.
The trend is troubling because babies born to unmarried women are more likely to live in poverty, said Kids Count in Michigan director Jane Zehnder-Merrell.
The study also found:
• The percentage of African-American and Hispanic births has grown; births to Hispanic mothers rose 35% though they represent 7% of all births.
• About four of every five births to African-American women were to unmarried mothers, compared to one of every three for white mothers.