More Women Pass On Motherhood

   By drodriguez  Jun 30, 2010

The number of women entering the post childbearing years without ever having had kids has risen dramatically in recent years.  Though researchers are still not sure exactly why this is the case there are a few theories that may explain why more women are choosing to go childless in life.

A recent article from USA Today discusses the recent findings that 1 in 5 older women are now going childless, which is up from 1 in 10 reported some 30 years ago.  The most recent statistics are coming from the Pew Research Center's analysis of Census data.  The analysis also found that the number of women never baring children is up in every ethnic group and most education backgrounds across the board, except for the highly educated where they saw a drop in women going without kids.

In previous reports, some of the most educated women were also the most likely not to have children.  Though this still holds true in the latest reports, these numbers have dropped quite a bit recently. In 1994 it was reported that 31 percent of women holding their master's and doctorate degrees were childless in later years.  Today, only 24 percent of this group is going childless.  The reason researchers believe the numbers in this group have gone down is because there are better fertility treatments being offered today and more educated women can afford to have these treatments. 

The overall findings show that women aged 40 - 44 who haven't had children grew from 10 percent in 1976 to a whopping 18 percent in 2008.  This may be because women are marrying later, focusing more on careers, and have better access to birth control. 

It is important to note that the census considers women who are age 40 - 44 to be at the end of their childbearing years and only analyzes data from this group.  It is not uncommon to hear of women having children after 44, but these women have been left out of the statistics at present.

What do you think of the research that found more women are going childless?

What do you think is the reason for this?

Make a Comment

Andielovesyou9 by Andielovesyou9 | El Paso, TX
Aug 01, 2010

I'm sure that many women don't want to bring children into this world because it has been taking a turn for the worst in some areas and it's scary to know that the one thing you'll love more than anything may be in danger for no reason other than being born.

cybrown551 by cybrown551 | HOOKSETT, NH
Jul 18, 2010

I believe that it is because there are more women in the workforce today and more of them have professional careers that don't allow them to take the time off from work. And also because of the economy and job situation women are afraid of going on maternity leave because they are afraid of being replaced by so many people who are out of work today. So in order to hold onto their jobs they hold off of starting a family so that they can keep their jobs.

danidudack by danidudack | Branford, CT
Jul 15, 2010

I think it is a personal choice. I am the first woman in my family EVER to make it past 22 without a child and without dropping out of highschool. I considered it my challenge to do so, there were no "oops" or "mistakes" I just did what I had to because if I didnt then how could I establish a good life for my children. I have always wanted a child but if that doesnt happen I would like to adopt. Life is very rarely predictable and I will know when I a ready until then my focus is enjoying life and working on my own life. We have become more independant so therefore we don't settle on marriage or a family as easily.

Juliolindo by Juliolindo | portland, OR
Jul 14, 2010

I think the reason is that women are more in control now adays. Women are now more liberated to "choose", we have choices now, career and education over having kids. Some women that have careers probably do not feel the need to have children. I think it's becoming more accepted and a more modern way of living life.

missyvecc by missyvecc | Seattle, WA
Jul 12, 2010

I'm glad to read the posts above. My husband and I talked about not having children on our first date. We don't feel compelled to have kids, to pass on our names or genes. There are too many children who need right now, and we can't feed, house, medicate, clothe and educate them. For those mothers and fathers who have children, and who love them very much, I hope and wish them the best. My parents did a great job, and not with many resources, and they truly love me, but I know that parenting is not for me.

mardel by mardel | SCHAUMBURG, IL
Jul 09, 2010

More mother's are not only thinking about bringing children to the world for the sake of beating their biological clock,family,or to please a man. Times are very hard to be that selfish and bring children to the world and not be able to give them the best life they deserve. Everything is more expensive. I am a mother of three and I struggle!! They only wait to get ahead is to get a great education and sadly enough a H.S diploma doesn't cut it anymore.

sguillen50 by sguillen50 | SAN ANTONIO, TX
Jul 04, 2010

I also do not want to have children, I haven't hit 30 yet but that won't change my mind. I take care of my disabled mother who adopted my brother's 4 children. I think they are more than enough in my household. I find myself thinking of having one and that little voice comes and squashes it. Too many other things going on in my life.

805Therapy by 805Therapy | Ventura, CA
Jul 04, 2010

Childless by choice - struggled w/ depression since age 5, did not want to pass along the bad stuff ! Also, poor parenting and relationship examples lead me to steer clear of having kids.

mrshd46 by mrshd46 | Willingboro, NJ
Jul 02, 2010

In my 20's, I thought that I would be married and have my first child by the time I turned 30. Well, 30 came and went and there was no marriage, therefore no child. I didn't meet my husband until I was in my 40's. Wish it had been sooner, but what can I say? I have to play the hand that was dealt to me.

Ellayem by Ellayem | Cincinnati, OH
Jun 30, 2010

We chose to be childless for a variety of reasons. We are in total agreement on this decision. A few of the reasons are: 1) 9/11 & other world tragedies 2) Folks like the Duggars having huge families, the Earth needs people like us to not reproduce to balance things out 3) The Earth is over populated, we are destroying the planet & using all of our natural resources. Small carbon footprint. 4) I've never had the urge to be a mother. 5) I enjoy my free time. While my friends are sitting at soccer games at 8:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning, I'm sleeping in. And I never need a sitter 6) Daycare is expensive. 7) I enjoy my husband's company. I've seen so many marriages wrecked by the stress of having children. 8) I've heard too many horror stories of bad pregnancies, bad labors, and hellion children. No thank you. Ann Landers once asked readers to anonymously if they had it to do over, would they have children. Here's the article:

BeesPace by BeesPace | Water Mill, NY
Jun 30, 2010

I agree that career makes a difference. I work between 40 to 60 hrs a week and on average 6 days a week. I have a great job and a career that means a lot to me. Having a child to be raised by a nanny or day care center is not the right thing for me yet I cannot afford to stop working. Having extended family support is also an issue there. I have no relatives to help watch my child (were I to have one) and again, having a child raised by strangers is not an otpion for me. My husband and I have come to terms that if I cannot get pregant later, then we will always have the option of adoption. To have a kid just to have a kid is not right for me. It is a life time responsibility I am simply not ready to commit to...

msfriendly by msfriendly | MONROE, WI
Jun 30, 2010

More mothers are working and are fulfilled with their lives. It's their choice. So many kids can be neglected when parents are too busy so why have kids just to have kids?