More Women Having First Baby Over Age 40 And Out Of Wedlock: 2018 Pew Study
…And not as many women are waiting for marriage to have those babies. By 2014, 55 percent of mothers ages 40 to 44 who’ve never said “I do” had at least one child. In 1994, it was about 31 percent.
Researchers noticed a trend across all races and ethnicities: Women as a whole have started delaying motherhood. This includes millennial moms — the report found the median age for first-time mothers is now 26, while back in 1994, it was 23.
Women are also putting off motherhood until after higher education.
Indeed, as the report notes: “The most dramatic increase in motherhood has occurred among the relatively small group of women in their early 40s with a Ph.D. or professional degree, 80 percent of whom are mothers; among their predecessors, just 65 percent were.” A separate 2016 study found women who wait to have kids make more money.
While educated women are having children at increasing rates, there is still one group of women most likely to be moms. Of women with a high school diploma or less, 70 percent are mothers.
More than half of never-married women in their early 40s have given birth
by Ruth Brown, January 2018
Who needs a ring?
A majority of US women who’ve never married have given birth to at least one child by the time they reach 44, (Link): according to a new Pew Research Center study.
Fifty-five percent of unwed women currently in their early 40s have a child, the study found — up from 31 percent two decades ago.
“The upward trend in the share of never-married women having children is particularly striking given the overall falloff in births to teens in recent decades,” Pew reported.
The baby boom for this group cuts across ethnic, racial and educational levels, although the increase was larger among white women — in 1994, 13 percent of those ages 40 to 44 who’d never said “I do” had procreated, while 37 percent have now.
By contrast, 69 percent of black women in the same demographic had a kid in 1994, which had grown to 75 percent two decades later.
There were no figures for unmarried Hispanic women in ’94, but 68 percent were moms in the 2014 count.
The change was also particularly pronounced for unwed women 40 to 44 with some college experience or a degree.
In 1994, only 5 percent of those with postgraduate degrees had a kid. In 2004, it was 25 percent.
That change was also true for married women with degrees — only 60 percent of women in their 40s with professional degrees had kids 20 years ago, while 80 percent do today.
Across the board, more women are having more children, and having them later in life, the study found.
The average age of first-time moms in 1994 was 23. Today, it’s 26, in part because there has been a decrease in teen pregnancy.
In the mid-1990s, 22 percent of women in their early 40s had procreated before the age 20, but by 2014, that figure dropped to 13 percent.
Pew also attributed the change to the Great Recession, more women joining the workforce, and more people delaying marriage.
“Given these social and cultural shifts, it seems likely that the postponement of childbearing will continue,” the research outfit concluded.