November 9, 2010
The number of American women without children has risen to an all-time high of 1 in 5, a jump since the 1970s when 1 in 10 women ended their childbearing years without having a baby, according to the Pew Research Center.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
About 1.9 million women aged 40-44—or 18 percent—were childless in 2008, an 80 percent increase since 1976, when just 580,000—10 percent of those in that age bracket—had never given birth, the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey shows.
Childlessness has increased across racial and ethnic groups and most education levels, but has dropped among women with advanced degrees in the past decade, according to the research.
Part of the reason for the rise in the number of childless women is an overall pattern toward delaying marriage and having kids, the research showed. Experts say that a drop in societal pressure to be a parent is also responsible for the trend, along with an increase in career opportunities and an improvement in birth control options and effectiveness.