In the United States historically, births to older mothers have been more likely to be planned than births to younger mothers, and births to unmarried women have been less likely to be planned than births to married women. As the average age of mothers has increased and more births have occurred outside of marriage in the United States, the intersection of these trends may have weakened the traditional linkage between age and birth planning status. In this article, we examine differences by maternal age in the planning status of births using the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth. We find that age is strongly associated with planning status, but the association is reduced in magnitude when controlling for relationship status and is stronger for first and second births than for higher-parity births. Further, the association between union status and the planning status of births varies by race-ethnicity.
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