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Census shows change in ages for childbearing

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 10-05-2011

As demographers dig into census data, they are seeing major changes in ages when women decide to have kids reports the New York Times. College-educated women are waiting longer to have kids, while women who did not finish high school are actually having children at an earlier age than they did in 2000.

In 2000, the portion of women with college degrees between the ages of 25 and 34 who had children was 42 percent, according to the data. Ten years later, the same group of women, now ages 35 to 44 — representing about three million Americans — were far more likely to be mothers: About 76 percent had children, according to the data.

In contrast, women who did not finish high school were more likely to have children earlier. In 2000, about 83 percent of women ages 25 to 34 who did not have a high school diploma had children. The percentage rose to 88 percent by 2010.

Additionally, twice as many women in percentage terms (from 10 to 19%) have no children in their 40s.

There are far more women in their 40s without children now than there were in past decades. In 1976, just 10 percent of all women ages 40 to 44 had no children. That percentage had jumped to 19 percent by 2010.

Versus 1976, when more women had three kids rather than two, today far more women have 2 children. And dramatically, 21% of women have had a child and never been married, versus 3% back in 1976.

No word yet on how dads fit into this changing picture.

[From Census Data Shows Changes in Childbearing Patterns – NYTimes.com]

As demographers dig into census data, they are seeing major changes in ages when women decide to have kids reports the New York Times. College-educated women are waiting longer to have kids, while women who did not finish high school are actually having children at an earlier age than they did in 2000.

In 2000, the portion of women with college degrees between the ages of 25 and 34 who had children was 42 percent, according to the data. Ten years later, the same group of women, now ages 35 to 44 — representing about three million Americans — were far more likely to be mothers: About 76 percent had children, according to the data.

In contrast, women who did not finish high school were more likely to have children earlier. In 2000, about 83 percent of women ages 25 to 34 who did not have a high school diploma had children. The percentage rose to 88 percent by 2010.