Highly Educated Having More Children


“Women with higher education are choosing to have more children than in past decades, and that family size is steady.”  –Pew Research Center

There have been significant drops in childlessness for highly educated women in the last two decades.  For women between the ages of 40 and 44 with a master’s degree has dropped from 29 to 22 percent since 1994, Pew Research shows.

The gap between those with a medical degree or doctorate was even greater–a 15 percent drop.  From 35 percent childless in 1994 to 20 percent in 2014.

“The fact is that more women, near the end of their child-bearing years are experiencing motherhood than was the case even 10 years ago,” Gretchen Livingston, senior Pew researcher, said.

“The choice to have more children comes as women are more confident in both their own abilities to balance work and family, and their husbands helping out at home,” said Stephanie Coontz, director of research and public education on the Council on Contemporary Families (CCF).

“Men have really increased their involvement in child care.  I think that makes it more attractive to women to have children.  There are a lot of myths that more educated women opt out as moms, but they are actually the least likely to opt out…these working women are much more likely to want to combine work and family,” Coontz noted.

A new CCF study on family housework, gender and parenting concluded have more supportive husbands is a factor in encouraging women to have more children, as well as continue working.  CCF found married fathers have doubled their developmental care of children and tripled their daily physical care since 1965.

“Women whose husbands do more child care are more willing to have a second child,” Coontz added.  An “evenness” of both unpaid and paid hours worked between husband and wife and career and family is a positive.  Contention often arrises otherwise, the CCF study found.

Twenty-six percent of mothers who are not high school graduates have four or more children, while 8 percent of mothers with postgraduate degrees have as many, according to the study.

Horizonte seeks to make education the priority to all its students.

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