Babies born out from wedding

Exchanging with friends, we we wondering in which European countries, people are born out from weddings.

We were surprised that so many babies are wed from unwed parents. Our first reflex was to check a correlation with atheism.


France is the most atheist country, more than 35 %, and is the second country where there is the highest percentage of babies born from unwed parents, 63,5 %.

But Portugal atheists are under 5 % and the percentage of babies born out from wedlock is 60 %.

I stop here for Europe.

Thinking about this forum, i wondered about USA.


I was surprised that the global percentage be so high and particularly high in south, but not only.

I checked religious practice.

[Most and least religious U.S. states | Pew Research Center]

The global map is under if you scroll down the document.

There are similarities and exceptions.

Even being sure that it was not a true explanation, i checked the cliche that the high percentages come from an important black population.

[Race and Ethnicity in the United States: 2010 Census and 2020 Census]

As i thought, these is no correlation. For each state, the % of babies born out from unwed parents is most over the % of black population.

New Mexico has less than 5 % of black people and 52, 4 % of the babies are born from unwed parents. The cliche is not true.

Then, i am wondering about other explanations.

Poverty :

[List of U.S. states and territories by poverty rate - Wikipedia]

The link is there, globally., not absolute, but strongly true it seems.

I sum up : The states were the most babies are born from unwed parents are the most religious and the poorest. It is not absolutely true, but it could be globally true.

It could show that, in USA, wedding before having babies stays important even in liberal families, when in France, it is not.

It could show that religion does not protect women from having babies without being wed, not a surprise for me.

It could show that poverty is an important factor.

I will risk an hypothesis : Poor religious families are the less prone to give a proper education about sex and reproduction, to their children and the less prone to use contraception.

There is a classical story in France : In a poor and struggling area, a school nurse receives a female teenager student who has a stomach ache and is panicked at the idea that she could be pregnant for having kissed a boy.

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I think that’s a good start. Probably, people don’t want to do that study because of to much controversy. And, yes, the stereotypes about race or the non-relgious are way off.

Other point : no relationship between number of babies born out from wedding, and abortion rates.

Before the supreme Court decision, Florida was one of the state with the highest rate of babies born out from wedlock and one of the states <with the highest rate of abortion.

[Abortion statistics by state: Maps, trigger laws, and possible bans - POLITICO]

About France, a correction : Roughly 225 000 people wed each year and 180 000 people enter into a civil solidarity pact, a lighter form of marriage. The children born to these couples are counted as born outside of marriage, which puts the of 63% into perspective .

The stats have always been that way- the higher the religiosity the higher out of wedlock pregnancies. The lower the religiosity, the lower the out of wedlock pregnancies.

Birth rates and divorce have historilly been high in countries that have no or poor social security retirement or high inflation.

Wow. A year and a half hiatus, and you pick up like nothing happened