Since 2002 the number of new borns being born to unmarried but co-habitating parents has jumped 83%, and woman are waiting longer to have kids, the largest age group now being 30-44 years of age.
Karen Benjamin Guzzo, a sociologist at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio authored the study about cohabitation and fertility after reviewing statistic from the US Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics.
The statistics show just over a quarter of all women now have the first child while cohabiting with the child's male parent, but not getting married. The economy is being cited as a partial reason as more and more think twice about marriage during the last recession between 2008 and 2011, also known as the Great Recession.
Examining just cohabiting men, they were less likely to have a child while women were more likely.
There were significant differences when results were divided into race with 80% of black women having a child without being married with 18% cohabiting, 53% of hispanic women with 30% cohabiting, 34% of white women with 20% cohabiting and 13% of Asian women with just 7% of those cohabiting.
Of women that were cohabiting, 46% were having a child without being married.
"They're kind of starting their families in a two-parent context, but outside the bounds of marriage", says Sociologist Kelly Musick of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. They want marriage but don't feel economically ready for it she adds.