Wednesday, August 20, 2008

New Fertility Stats

This morning I woke up to the voice of Katherine Lanpher (LOVE her) on NPR's "The Takeaway" talking about a new Census Bureau report on fertility. According to the data, the number of women ages 40 to 44 who were childless in 2006 is twice as high as it was 30 years earlier. Among other highlights, the report, Fertility of American Women: 2006, found:
  • The majority of women with a recent birth (57 percent) were in the labor force. (Are we, um, surprised?)
  • Of the 4.2 million women who had a birth in the previous 12 months, 36 percent were separated, widowed, divorced or never married at the time of the survey. Of these 1.5 million unmarried mothers, 190,000 were living with an unmarried partner.
  • Second generation Hispanic women tend to have lower fertility rates than either foreign-born Hispanics or those who were third generation (i.e., native and of native parents).
  • The highest levels of current fertility (67 births in the year prior to the survey per 1,000 women) were among those with a graduate or professional degree.

The report also finds that the national birth rate for women age 15 to 50 receiving public assistance in 2006 was about three times of those not receiving public assistance. A decade after the passage of welfare reform in 1996, data show that women in this age range receiving public assistance had a birth rate of 155 births per 1,000 women, compared with 53 births per 1,000 women not receiving it.

To hear Katherine's interview with a prof from Florida who hits on some of the implications of it all, click here.


Anonymous said...

I saw this. Didn't find it surprising. We've built a society in which having and raising children is very expensive and difficult.

And that women have had to push childbearing back in order to make the same educational and financial gains that men do at younger ages is not exactly the equality of our dreams, is it?

Deborah Siegel said...

Well said, Anniegirl. Nope, it ain't.