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Mark D. Hayward, Director 305 E. 23rd Street, Stop G1800 78712-1699 • 512-471-5514

Kelly Raley

Faculty Research Associate Ph.D., University of Wisconsin - Madison

Professor of Sociology
Kelly Raley



R. Kelly Raley is Professor of Sociology and Training Director at the Population Research Center, University of Texas at Austin. Her research investigates family trends, the social determinants of family formation, and the impact of family change on social stratification. As part of a larger agenda examining the economic, social, and cultural contributors to marriage disparities in the United States, she has recently completed a project investigating the influence of social contextual factors on adolescent relationship formation. Much of her work in this area has addressed racial and ethnic differences in marriage and cohabitation, but her current line of inquiry focuses on educational variation in family formation.

NIH Biosketch

Education and Transition to Adulthood Research Group (ETAG) website


Raley, R. Kelly. 2011. In Booth et al (Eds). “I just want your kiss? Sexual Relationships in Young Adulthood”  Early Adulthood in a Family Context. New York. Springer

Working Papers

Race-Ethnic Differences in the Non-marital Fertility Rates in 2006-2010

Research in the 1980s pointed to the lower marriage rates of blacks as an important factor contributing to race differences in non-marital fertility. Our analyses update and extend this prior work to investigate whether cohabitation has become an important contributor to this variation. We use data from the 2006–2010 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) to decompose race-ethnic differences in non-marital fertility rates into three types of factors based on relationship status, pregnancy rates by relationship status, and marriage following a non-marital pregnancy. We find that the pregnancy rate among single (not cohabiting) women is the biggest contributor to racial-ethnic variation the non-marital fertility rate and that higher proportions of women using no method of contraception among racial minorities explains the majority of the race-ethnic differences in pregnancy rates.


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