A RECENT study has found that more college-educated women are having kids outside of marriage.

And, the lead researcher projects that 18% to 27% of them, now in their 30s, will follow this pattern.

Johns Hopkins University sociologist Andrew Cherlin reported the findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“For some college-educated young adults, we may be seeing a new family sequence in which you have a first child, and then you marry,” Cherlin said.

“My findings don’t show that college-educated adults are turning away from marriage, necessarily. But at the very least, the place of marriage in your life may be changing.

“I project that among college-educated women, currently in their 30s who will ever have a first child, 18% to 27% will be unmarried at the time of birth,” Cherlin said.

“The place of marriage in the sequence of life events for emerging adulthood may be shifting among college graduates.”

The reasons varied, and the study found that many college-educated women who were having babies outside of marriage lived with their partners.

Cherlin stated it was far more acceptable now for women to have a child while cohabiting than it was years ago.

Some reasons for the women to have kids outside of marriage were college debt from student loans and seeing fewer economic returns from the education.

“Some studies have shown that people are less likely to marry while shouldering a lot of student debt,” Cherlin added.