Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Are Women With More Education Less Likely to Have Children? July 13, 2010

Filed under: Current Affairs,Polls,Uncategorized — Life Without Baby @ 6:00 am
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The Pew Research Center recently put out an interesting report on women without children. According to their findings:

Nearly one-in-five American women ends her childbearing years without having borne a child, compared with one-in-ten in the 1970s. While childlessness has risen for all racial and ethnic groups, and most education levels, it has fallen over the past decade for women with advanced degrees.

One-in-five women? I have to say that those figures surprised me. The report goes on to say:

Childlessness is most common among highly educated women. In 2008, 24% of women ages 40-44 with a bachelor’s degree had not had a child. Rates were similar for women with a master’s degree (25%) and those with a doctorate or a professional degree, such as a medical or legal degree (23%).

The report doesn’t give any indication as to why the rates dropped in women with advanced degrees when they were increasing overall. Any thoughts on this?

I thought it would be interesting to conduct our own poll and test our figures against the report’s. What is the highest level of education you have attained?

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4 Responses to “Are Women With More Education Less Likely to Have Children?”

  1. Kathryn Says:

    I don’t think i’m typical. I do have a BA degree, “part of” a Master’s, & my intent was to get a PhD. However, all these plans went into place after i’d been married for several years (my first marriage) & it became obvious we would not have children (very long story). I decided that rather than be stuck in a job i hated, i might as well return to school & do a job i did like.

    Divorce. Many years single.

    Remarriage in my early 40s. Three miscarriages.

    So, it just doesn’t seem that my childlessness is related to my “higher degree.” ?

    What do you think?

  2. I think having a higher education means affording a comfortable lifestyle if kids are your thing. You could even afford adoption. It’s all about personal choice. I know poor childfree women with not much more than high school, and women with two degrees who aren’t interested in kids. Childfreedom and the choice may be more than educational.

  3. Check out my new book, Women Without Children, on Amazon.com. An ebook copy is only 2.99! Below is an idea of the book’s premise.

    Liz, Diana, and Katie are three women living very different lives in three different parts of the country. Yet, unbeknownst to them, they share one very common thread; the same decision to live a life without children. Though each has made the same decision, each has come to her own conclusion for very unique, personal reasons of her own…consciously or subconsciously.

    The societal pressures to conform to what has been deemed the “norm” during their child-bearing years sometimes weighs heavily on their hearts, minds and souls causing them to question their common choice and perhaps even crater under the heft of the spoken and unspoken expectations of the world around them.

  4. hmelissar Says:

    It sometimes seems to me that many poor women with no prenatal care and bad diets, have little fertility issues, while women with higher incomes who try everything under the sun to have a baby, do not succeed. I’m not sure if it’s the age thing or what, but it’s sad to me.


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