Among Highly Educated Women in U.S., Childfree Rate Falls & Family Size Grows

May 8, 2015 • Daily Email Recap

Childlessness Falls, Family Size Grows Among Highly Educated Women

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Among women in the United States, postgraduate education and motherhood are increasingly going hand-in-hand. The share of highly educated women who are remaining childless into their mid-40s has fallen significantly over the past two decades.

Today, about one-in-five women ages 40 to 44 with a master’s degree or more (22%) have no children – down from 30% in 1994 according to a Pew Research Center analysis of newly-released Census data. The decline is particularly dramatic among women with an M.D. or Ph.D. – fully 35% were childless in 1994, while today the share stands at 20%. Not only are highly educated women more likely to have children these days, they are also having bigger families than in the past. Among women with at least a master’s degree, six-in-ten have had two or more children, up from 51% in 1994. The share with two children has risen 4 percentage points, while the share with three or more has risen 6 percentage points.

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