Illegitimacy rates by race in the United States from 1940-2014. Rate for African Americans is the purple line. Data is from the National Vital Statistics System Reports published by the american way of poverty pdf CDC National Center for Health Statistics. Note: Prior to 1969, African American illegitimacy was included along with other minority groups as “Non-White.
The family structure of African-Americans has long been a matter of national public policy interest. A 1965 report by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, known as The Moynihan Report, examined the link between black poverty and family structure.
It hypothesized that the destruction of the Black nuclear family structure would hinder further progress toward economic and political equality. When Moynihan wrote in 1965 on the coming destruction of the black family, the out-of-wedlock birthrate was 25 percent among blacks. In 1991, 68 percent of black children were born outside of marriage.
Black babies were born to unwed mothers. Post-1960s expansion of the U. According to data extracted from 1910 census manuscripts, compared to white women, black women are more likely to become teenage mothers, stay single and have marriage instability, and are thus much more likely to live in female-headed single-parent homes.
This pattern has been known as black matriarchy because of the observance of many households headed by women. Black America would greatly hinder further Black socioeconomic progress.
The current most widespread African American family structure consisting of a single parent has historical roots dating back to 1880. Census reports reveal that between 1880 and 1960, married households consisting of two-parent homes were the most widespread form of African American family structures.
Although the most popular, married households decreased over this time period. Single-parent homes, on the other hand, remained relatively stable until 1960 when they rose dramatically.