Study: Poor Women More Likely to Conceive Younger, Be Unmarried

Teen pregnancy can result in a "cycle of despair"

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) has just released a study reaffirming past ones that show women of low social economic status are more likely to be unwed and conceive earlier than others.

In what they call a “cycle of despair“, they state the the despair and hopelessness that poor, young women face increases the likelihood that they will give birth at an early age outside of marriage.

They also state that less frequent use of abortion – likely from having less access – is an important determinant of this behavior.

Examining causes, the study suggests that low-income girls make decisions about childbearing and marriage based on their perceived (low) likelihood of achieving economic success.

Economic and societal conditions that generate a sense of despair among these girls will lead them to more often choose early, non-marital childbearing.

Their results suggest that inequality itself, as opposed to geographic factors, is a primary driver of this relationship.

  • Julesdeak

    It really breaks my heart reading this. We could say also because of their parents or being poor and not able to go to school. I hope our government can at least help them or educate them.

  • Jerome

    I have known a few people who got pregnant at an early age. It could also caused by peer pressure and lack of knowledge. Some of them are really poor and I hope they can do well in life after this.