Childbearing among young Latino women in the United States

Am J Public Health. 1987 Jan;77(1):25-8. doi: 10.2105/ajph.77.1.25.


We analyzed 1979 and 1982 data from the Youth Cohort of the National Longitudinal Surveys (NLS) of Labor Market Experience to compare rates of early childbearing among White, Black, Mexican-origin and Puerto Rican women up to age 21. Latino young women fall in between the extremely low rate of the Whites and the extremely high rate of the Blacks. Mexican and Puerto Rican young women have similar proportions of premarital first births, but the marital first birth rate for young Mexicans is twice that of the Puerto Ricans. The bulk of Mexican first births, like births to Whites, occur within marriage, while Puerto Rican first births are similar to those of Blacks, the majority being out-of-wedlock. These racial/ethnic differences in premarital first birth rates do not change greatly when socioeconomic status, and birthplace of respondents and respondents' parents are controlled.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Americans
  • Ethnic Groups*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Marriage*
  • Maternal Age*
  • Mexico / ethnology
  • Pregnancy
  • Puerto Rico / ethnology
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States