Baby bust

US women are having fewer children

Erin Trieb/The New York Times

The number of American women in their 30s and 40s who are childless is on the rise, a study by the U.S. Census found. More women are childless than at any other time since the government started keeping track. Almost half of American women between 18 and 44 don’t have children: 47.6% in 2014, up from 46.5% in 2012. The rise in childlessness is sharpest for women in their late 30s — around 18.5 percent of women between 35 and 39 were childless, up from 17.2 percent in 2012. The latest numbers seem to confirm a trend in which more and more women choose to delay having children. Plus, America’s fertility rates are at record lows. Surveys show that most American women still report that they want to have two kids. Nevertheless, American families are shrinking. The number of women between 40 and 44 who only had one child has roughly doubled since 1976. While some are consciously childless, others are struggling to have children or are unable afford expensive fertility treatments. Balancing work and life remains an issue as well. Women in managerial or professional occupations are more likely to be childless than women their age who had a different job, the study found.

Read the full story at The Wall Street Journal.


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