By 30, most men without college are fathers

May 25, 2011 at 1:45 PM
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MADISON, Wis., May 25 (UPI) -- Teen moms may get most of the headlines, but researchers say by age 30, up to 75 percent of young men with no more than a high school degree are fathers.

The findings, published in The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and in the book "Young Disadvantaged Men: Fathers, Family, Poverty, and Policy," examine how poverty and lack of education create a "perfect storm of adverse events."

Book co-editors Irwin Garfinkel, Ronald B. Mincy and Timothy Smeeding convened a national conference at the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that revealed 62 percent of fathers with a high school degree or less earned less than $20,000 in 2002. In addition, almost half of all U.S. children are being raised by at least one parent with a high school degree or less by age 30.

At the same time, more than 40 percent of all births are out of wedlock, and the chances that an unmarried biological father and mother will have a child with different partners are at least 55 percent to 65 percent, the researchers say.

Only 52 percent of all fathers under age 25, including 21 percent of African-American fathers in that age group, are married at the birth of their first child. However, older fathers are more likely to be married by age 30, the researchers say.

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