Newly released U.S. Census Bureau data from the Current Population Survey shows that 47.6% of women ages 15 to 44 in 2014 are childless. That's an all-time high, based on the year-over-year data: In 1994, for example, 42% of American women were kid-free. Back in 1976, it was 35.1%.
Why fewer of us are having babies: There are several reasons that our nation's "cumulative fertility," as the Census Bureau puts it, has dropped. One underreported but important reason is that fewer teens are giving birth, in no small part due to "more and better contraceptive use," according to the Guttmacher Institute. Helping teens get contraception has been instrumental; as Jezebel reported, "Colorado reduced its teen pregnancy rate by 40% between 2009 and 2013 largely by providing over 30,000 LARCs for free at 68 family planning clinics statewide."
Older women are also sidestepping parenthood for a mix of reasons, some purposeful and some not. (According to the CDC, of women ages 15 to 44, 10.9% experience an "impaired" ability to conceive or carry children to term.) But as Mic's Liz Plank noted, there are more and more women who have the ability and are choosing not to. Money's a huge factor, compounded by the lack of affordable and subsidized child care, low wages and the sheer cost of raising a child today.
Marriage also makes a difference, as American women are getting married later than ever. While there are more and more women have kids outside marriage, there's still a strong connection between marriage and childbearing. As Pew Research Center noted, the longer women wait, the less likely it is to end up happening. - Mic
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Wrath of God: Survey shows close to 50% of American women ages 15 to 44 in 2014 are childless
One Simple Stat Proves It's Perfectly Normal Not to Have Kids, Once and For All - Mic
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