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Study Shows More Women in Their 40s Are Childless

It may be all babies and children all the time here on lilsugar, but a new Census Bureau report on fertility shows that 20 percent of women ages 40 to 44 were childless in 2006. That's twice as high as the level 30 years earlier. The report on Fertility of American Women: 2006 also found:

  • The majority of women with a recent birth (57 percent) were in the labor force.
  • 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.
  • 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 degrees.
  • The report is the first from the Census Bureau and included state-by-state comparisons of fertility characteristics. To find out more of the statistics,


    There was a great deal of variation among states in the characteristics of mothers who had given birth in the previous year. Such mothers, for instance, in the District of Columbia, Mississippi, and North Carolina were the most likely to have never married. New mothers in California were the most apt to be foreign-born while those in Mississippi were the likeliest to be poor.

    What do you think of the findings?


Join The Conversation
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
Personally, I agree (and identify) with Fleurfairy. I'm married, and we are decidedly child-free. We are happy and content. Raising children is not the right path for everyone.
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
i'm really surprised. and i suspect that in that 20% there are lots of women who don't think their mommy dreams are over. because celebs show up with twins after 40 lots of women out there think medical science can do that for them too. a friend of a friend of mine is going through this now. she was shocked that at 42 none of her eggs were "good" and her fertility treatments with donor eggs aren't working. now she finds herself on the edge of being "too old" to adopt a foreign baby (in many countries the cut off is 44).
jessy777 jessy777 8 years
fleurfairy fleurfairy 8 years
This doesn't surprise me. I think women are coming to a point where they feel that they don't have to have children to be fulfilled. You can have a wonderful, satisfying life sans kids.
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